$500 million dollars of renewable energy investment coming to the Mid-Ohio Valley

Gov. Justice signs new Economic Development Bill and partnerships to bring hundreds of jobs to Jackson County area.
WTAP News @ 6
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 1:31 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2022 at 1:32 PM EDT
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West Virginia Legislature passed three bills in Monday’s 4th special session agenda.

Of the three bills, Governor justice signed the economic development bill bringing a $500 million investment in renewable energy in Ravenswood.

Justice announced that (BHE) Berkshire Hathaway Energy business will buy more than 2,000 acres in Ravenswood to be developed as a renewable energy microgrid powered industrial site.

And I’m very proud that West Virginia’s taken the lead and the step forward in moving in the right direction to allow us to compete on that global scale.

Precision Castparts Corp, a BHE incorporated business, will be first on the site as a state-of-the-art titanium melt facility using 100% renewable energy to make titanium products for industries like aerospace.

Ravenswood’s Mayor, Josh Miller said the city has been preparing for this announcement and he’s now looking at what’s next.

“Now we’ve got to step up even more to make sure we continue to be ready as that growth comes. Because we don’t know how long this is going to take or the timeline yet, but there’s going to be a lot of pieces of this puzzle that are going to have to come together.”

Delegate Vernon Criss said the work planned in Ravenswood is going to be extraordinary.

He compared it to the construction of the Nucor Steel production facility in Mason County.

“What that does like the NUCOR thing, is that the satellite businesses and the opportunity for other businesses to come to the Ravenswood area and even into the Parkersburg area will be tremendous because that manufacturing concern will have to have support from other businesses to be able to continue to do the type of things they do.”

Mayor miller said there’s a lot of momentum right now, and that we should plan to see similar announcements for the region over the next couple of years.

Miller and Criss both said this is going to be bigger than just the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“With the things that we’re doing here, we will compete at the global scale. And that’s what we have to do now. That’s what we’re facing in this global economy. We have to be able to compete, and I’m excited for that. This is a huge thing for Jackson County and Ravenswood, and I’m proud to just be a small piece of that,” said Mayor Miller

“Long term it’s just going to be another great thing to revitalize the industrial strength of this country,” Delegate Criss said.

In a news release from the Governor’s office, PCC Metals President Steve Wright said, “We are thrilled to partner with PCC and West Virginia to deliver this landmark renewable energy solution, hundreds of jobs and significant economic development.”

Governor Justice was quoted as saying, “The partnership we are forging with BHE Renewables and PCC is testament to West Virginia’s ability to compete on the world stage and recruit world-class companies like these to our state. I couldn’t be more proud of the fact that West Virginia will help lead the way into a new era of renewable energy microgrid-powered manufacturing. I can never thank BHE Renewables and PCC enough for their commitment to West Virginia and for the jobs and economic ripple effects this partnership will bring.”

BHE’s President and CEO Alicia Knapp also announced that in the spirit of the community, the BHE Foundation will be donating $500 thousand to the Mid Ohio Valley United Way.

Of the two other bills passed in Monday’s session, Criss explained that the first allows the transfer of money from the general fund to the highway fund. The second, “authorizes the Highway Dept. to use those dollars to make improvements to secondary roads and to buy additional equipment they need to ongoing core maintenance that they are doing.”

Criss said that there was a good response across the board on all three bills.