EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMountain State Generating 583 MW Of Power
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Brad Rice, John Tincher
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Aug. 26, 2013 6:40 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 27, 2013 10:15 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
With its towering peaks and deep valleys, West Virginia is the perfect place to generate wind power.
"We have the mountainous terrain in the east that have class five, class six winds," Jeff Herholdt, the director of the West Virginia Division of Energy said. "Those are significant. In Charleston, we would call the winds here and in most of the state class three winds. Class five, class six winds are commercially developable wind resources."
The state has five wind farms scattered throughout Greenbrier, Randolph, Tucker, Grant and Mineral counties. Those facilities produce 583 megawatts of electricity, power that is readily available to a hungry east coast market.
"The new power line that went east to west facilitates us putting additional power into the grid for movement to the east coast markets," Herholdt said.
He adds that another wind farm is in the permitting process. AES Wind Generation is working on a site in Grant County that will provide an additional 160 megawatts of electricity. When its up and running it will be the state's second-largest wind facility.
But West Virginia has the potential to do even more.
"The numbers out of DOE would show us at roughly 50 percent developed in the state," Herholdt said. "Admittedly a lot of the folks at the U.S. Department of Energy now are on off-shore wind, which they view as a significant long-term energy resource."
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