Sixty One Turbine Wind Farm Begins Construction In Randolph County

Elkins, WV – While they may not be welcome in Pocahontas County, wind turbines are going up in neighboring Randolph County. And at least one heavy equipment operator is glad to have the opportunity to work.

About 150 West Virginia union workers are at work constructing the Laurel Mountain wind farm on the border of Randolph and Barbour counties, according to a news release from the West Virginia News Service. For forklift operator Brandon Young, who says jobs have been spotty for the last couple of years, this opportunity means a lot, especially during the holidays.

“It’s hard to buy Christmas on unemployment” says Young. “Most times I put a lot of my Christmas and Thanksgiving expenses and what not on credit, because there is no money. And then I have to spend the first couple months of the year paying all that back. “

The contractor expects to have 61 turbines built by the end of the next summer. Investment for the entire project is expected to be around 250 million dollars. The project should be able to produce 130 megawatts of electricity. While some criticize wind power as a threat to the coal industry, Young says it’s important for West Virginia to pursue alternative energies.

“I think it means a lot. I mean, you see all these other countries that are using wind energy, and you know, here we got West Virginia. I think it’s important for us to try to keep up. “

Several of the wind towers are now visible from the western side of Elkins. Thanks to the West Virginia News Service for the information in this report.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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