CHARLESTON – Governor Jim Justice and local elected officials today welcomed plans for the Black Rock Wind Farm, a proposed wind farm that straddles the Mineral and Grant County Line.
With a generation capacity of up to 170 megawatts, the project expects to create hundreds of jobs during construction, strengthen the region’s electrical infrastructure, and generate significant new tax revenue for Mineral and Grant counties. and the state of West Virginia, according to a government statement. The justice office said.
Black Rock represents a significant private sector investment of at least $ 150 million in Mineral and Grant counties that will create new jobs and economic opportunities. During the construction phase, Black Rock is expected to create 290 jobs, representing approximately $ 14 million in labor income and $ 44 million in regional economic output. Additional local jobs will be created for plant staff, which will be complemented by contractor services provided by businesses in the region.
âThis investment is truly great news for Mineral and Grant counties, and all of West Virginia,â said the Governor of Justice. âMy administration is committed to finding every means possible to improve power generation in West Virginia, and the Black Rock Wind Farm is the perfect example of a project that will be a win-win in many ways. . Not only will the project harness the inexhaustible wind from West Virginia for clean power generation, but it will create well-paying jobs during construction, and then, once built, this wind farm will continue to drive our economy for years to come. to come.
The governor of justice added that during construction, the wind farm is expected to generate at least $ 4.8 million in state and local taxes, with an additional $ 12 million in its first 25 years of operation.
Clearway owns and operates Lookout and Forward Wind Farms in Somerset County, Pa., And the Pinnacle Wind Farm near Keyser, West Virginia, where Clearway is already one of Mineral County’s largest taxpayers. Pinnacle has established a resident-supervised community benefits fund that has contributed $ 191,000 to “brick and mortar” projects and nonprofits since 2013. Black Rock plans to create a similar community benefit fund for the benefit of mineral counties and grants after construction is complete. Completed.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, there are currently 686 megawatts of wind capacity in West Virginia. Black Rock Wind is believed to represent nearly 25% growth in the state’s current wind power production.
Upon approval of its site certificate, Clearway plans to begin construction on Black Rock next year, with commercial operations beginning in 2021.