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.

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  • Hillbilly

    I think we should send the gas to the Gulf Coast and then ship it to China where they still burn coal at will with no restrictions, they could generate power and send it back to us and that way we would be doing our part to fight Global Warming .

  • dolphin3111

    Why doesn't private industry build these plants? Because they probably will not be profitable. Governments should stay out of business ventures like this. The local Marshall County taxpayers will suffer in the long run.

    After the plant is built there will be just a few permanent jobs there. Maybe a dozen or so. That's it.

  • Aaron

    I think any county that has natural gas under their feet should try and build one of these plants. One of the things I would do were I involved with a local municipality is to trade some of the tax base for free electricity to run local water treatment plants and other municipal structures. It's win-win-win if approached properly.

  • hillbilly

    Rather than putting it in a pipe and sending it to the Gulf Coast or someplace else,” I totally agree - build it.