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Ravenswood, Jackson County area feels energy around the Berkshire Hathaway investment

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — There’s energy and buzz around Ravenswood, Jackson County and the Mid-Ohio Valley following the recent announcement of a property investment by Berkshire Hathaway.

The multinational giant led headed by Warren Buffett has purchased the former site of Century Aluminum in Ravenswood, the West Virginia Economic Development Authority announced Tuesday.

Josh Miller, the Mayor of Ravenswood told MetroNews affiliate WMOV-Radio in Ravenswood that the site of more than 2,000 acres is one of the most valuable properties for industrial development on the East Coast.

The manufacturer at the site is Precision Castparts/Timet, which Berkshire Hathaway bought in 2015. Solar power will be supplied to the titanium and aerospace company by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, MetroNews previously reported.

Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller

“This is where it’s going to happen. Jackson County is on the map. Constellium already had us on there but throwing this into the mix, we’re going to be a global leader in these types of industries,” Miller said.

Miller said the city already invested in infrastructure on the site including designing sewer systems and water upgrades.

MetroNews reported on Tuesday that legislators, in a special session, swiftly approved a bill to establish a couple of districts in West Virginia where one unit of a company could produce alternative energy for sale to a second entity, like the setup in Jackson County envisions.

The deal calls for 200 jobs within three years, although officials have said there is potential for 1,000. Overall, it’s a $300 million project, officials said, with the possibility of attracting more manufacturers as tenants at the site.

Also announced on Tuesday, Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) Renewables Foundation gifted the United Way Alliance of Mid-Ohio Valley with $500,000.

Stacy DeCicco, the Executive Director of United Way Alliance of Mid Ohio Valley said on MetroNews ‘Talkline’ that it will be transformational for the area. She added it shows that Berkshire Hathaway wants to make an impact in the area.

“It’s profound, it’s genuine and feels very authentic,” she said. “Let’s be honest, that’s a tremendous check. They could have come in with a much smaller gift and we still could have done great things at the United Way and been grateful, but that is a gift that will impact beyond anything we can describe.”

During the announcement of the gift, Alicia Knapp, the president and chief executive of BHE Renewables said the United Way is the perfect community partner.

“From supporting recreation leagues to K through 12 schools, we know the United Way is a great community partner and will use these funds to invigorate the lives of the people who call Jackson County home,” she said.

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