§ 23 New Black Rock Wind Turbines on Grant – Mineral County Line

by Duane Nichols on February 16, 2021

Existing Pinnacle Wind Farm in Mineral County, West Virginia

Coal-dependent West Virginia gets a $200 million wind farm

From an Article by Michelle Lewis, Electrek Communications, January 26, 2021

West Virginia is getting a 115 MW wind farm, which will increase the state’s wind power by 15%. Here’s why that’s a really big deal – and why West Virginia’s governor, Jim Justice, is so excited.

West Virginia wind power — First, let’s check out West Virginia’s new wind farm. Construction is underway on the $200 million Black Rock Wind project. It consists of 23 turbines that produce 5 megawatts each on the Grant-Mineral county line, in the northeastern region of the state. Green energy developer Clearway Energy is building Black Rock Wind, which will provide power to Toyota and American Electric Power.

Clearway, which already operates the Pinnacle Wind Farm (pictured above) in Mineral County, intends to have Black Rock Wind operating before the end of this year.

WVMetroNews reports that Clearway Energy CEO Craig Cornelius says that $52 million of the $200 million will be spent on payroll and services during the construction process.

Construction will create 200 union jobs, and permanent positions will be advertised later this year. Clearway is planning a pilot project training program for workers who have coal mining or other energy experience.

West Virginia’s coal dependency is changing

West Virginia is coal country. According to the US Energy Information Administration, as of 2018, it was the second-largest coal producer in the US after Wyoming and ranked fifth among the states in total US energy production – that’s 5%.

Coal-fired electric power plants accounted for 91% of West Virginia’s electricity net generation in 2019. Renewable energy resources — primarily hydroelectric power and wind energy — contributed a meager 6%, in contrast.

West Virginia depends on the fossil fuel for jobs and revenue – but coal is a lost cause. Maybe that’s why Governor Jim Justice (R-WV) sounds so excited – maybe even a little relieved? – when he announced Black Rock Wind yesterday. Here’s an excerpt of what he said:

Gosh, this is so necessary that we have within our state, and this is really good stuff. Today we’re announcing a great move by Blackrock, a great move in the State of West Virginia, and so many, many, many good things that are about to happen here.

I’m a complete believer that West Virginia has to be a diversified state. We don’t want to forget how important [our coal mine jobs and our natural gas jobs] are… but we have embraced the all-encompassing thing. And this wind farm will amp up our wind production.

We absolutely do not run off and leave our [fossil fuel] jobs, but at the same time, we absolutely want to embrace all the other ways we can move forward with manufacturing and great jobs.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Wildfire February 16, 2021 at 10:34 am

What I want to know is about the name, Black Rock. Is this connected to the hedge fund by that name? I’m happy to see more renewable energy in WV but I’d like to see more of it owned and controlled by communities or by home or business owners. Perhaps part of the impetus was to make Toyota happy. There’s nothing wrong with that–but we should be supplying clean power to WV citizens too.


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