MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — The president of the Marshall County Commission believes the creation of a new gas-fired power generating facility could be the start of something larger in his county.
Commissioners voted last week to approve a negotiated agreement with Moundsville Power Company. The agreement, according to Commission President Don Mason, would be for a payment in lieu of taxes agreement and a lease agreement for the site which is owned by the local economic development authority.
“It’s about $35 million,” said Mason. “Currently we’re getting about $2,600 a year for that site.”
However, the windfall on the lease is just the beginning of the benefit. The power generation plant will be constructed about five miles south of Moundsville between Route 2 and the Ohio River. It brings the promise of good jobs.
“They feel they’ll have at least 30 full-time good paying jobs,” said Mason. “There will be 300 to 400 jobs during construction.”
The county still owns the land, but all operations, maintenance, construction, and other costs will belong to Moundsville Power. The electricity will be sold onto the power grid for any electric company can buy to bolster their demand.
Mason believes demonstration local use for the natural gas deep beneath their feet is the biggest advantage.
“Rather than putting it in a pipe and sending it to the Gulf Coast or someplace else,” Mason said. “We feel this is an opportunity to show we can be an end user here locally. This being successful, I think it would bring future business.”
The company still has some hurdles to clear. With their financing package in place, the company is awaiting approval of permits from the Public Service Commission. They are tentatively planning to begin construction early next year and starting up production of power in 2018.