This year, Enviva (formerly Green Circle Bioenergy) celebrates its tenth anniversary of doing business in Jackson County. The company began production near Cottondale in 2008 as part of Green Circle Bioenergy. In January 2015, the plant was acquired by Enviva and is one of seven plants of its kind located strategically throughout the southeastern United States.
Some local visionaries played a significant role in the plant’s location to Jackson County including WFEC’s Executive Vice President & CEO, Russell Dunaway. He, along with former county commissioner, Edward Crutchfield, Bill Stanton, Executive Director of the Jackson County Development Council, and other local officials worked in cooperation to encourage the company to choose Jackson County as its home.
Enviva has had a substantial impact on the economy of Jackson County by contributing at least $7,331,000 in tax revenue to Jackson County over ten years. The company has provided approximately $4.8 million in net revenue to WFEC. The additional revenue from this facility has helped stabilize rates for 28,000 WFEC members. Enviva has purchased over 1 billion kilowatt hour sales over the past ten years – approximately 20 percent of WFEC’s total sales.
The Enviva plant in Jackson County has a production capacity of over 700,000 metric tons of wood pellets per year. These pellets are manufactured from untreated, raw wood, waste wood and residuals. The pellets produced right here in Cottondale carry ENplus quality certification which indicates they are suitable for use by both industrial and residential customers. Once the pellets are produced, they are exported to the Port of Panama City for international consumers.
More than 100 people are employed by Enviva in Cottondale – this includes technicians, engineers and operators. The plant is also planning an expansion to increase its production capacity and workforce.