(06/17/2001)
By Dianne Weaver

A $600 million 450-megawatt coal and coal waste-fired electric power station will be built in Upshur County near Ten Mile at the old Island Creek mine, with the opening scheduled for 2005.

"It will use state-of-the-art 'clean coal' technology and burn more than 65% coal waste," according to Gov. Bob Wise. "We are fighting to provide clean coal research. This project can help do that."

The project, a joint venture of Dominion and Anker Energy, was announced Thursday in Buckhannon, and is expected to bring 400-500 construction jobs to the area, 50-60 operational jobs and 25-30 permanent mining jobs, according to Thomas Farrell, chief executive office at Dominion Energy.

Governor Wise said the plant will feed power grids in western Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Wise is unveiling a new West Virginia state energy policy in a few weeks.

Media manager for Dominion, Dan Donovan, said the facility would be a showcase for projects around the world. "This new technology of using coal and waste can be utilized to supply more energy in an environmentally sound way."

Bruce Sparks, President of Anker Energy, said the plant would help develop Anker's existing surface mines in Upshur County.

He said "After years of research and development, we have devised a mining and reclamation technique that will allow reserves to be mined without creating acid mine drainage."

Dominion will construct, own and operate the new power station, with Anker Energy providing the fuel.

Anker Energy also announced the construction of a 1500 acre industrial park on the site, the largest on the east coast, according to Arnold Arrowood, executive officer for the Upshur Economic Development Authority.


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