Thousands of jobs for veterans and laid-off coal miners is soon coming to the old Hobet mountain top removal site. Green Line Energy signed a land agreement Tuesday to purchase a portion of the Rock Creek Industrial Site. The company plans to create a renewable energy plant and hopes to work with the National Guard and private business, to boost the economy of southern West Virginia.
Behind the active Hobet Coal Mine, is the old mountain top removal site. It’s about the size of Huntington and will soon be home to an innovative renewable energy plant.
“This is a high tech thought process that is probably going to be new to the folks in our area. But it’s very exciting and when you start hearing the details and the capabilities of what these folks have engineered and are able to do, it’s really exciting,” Delegate Rodney Miller told 13 News.
Green Line Energy is the first private business to move to the Rock Creek Industrial Park. They’re in talks with the National Guard about a possible partnership. Leaders hope this businesses is just the first of many.
“This kind of green energy, if you would, attracts those, what you call west coast businesses, like Microsoft and things like that, to locate here,” Senator Ron Stollings explained.
Green Line is proposing a plan to provide power for the Guard, and sell some to power companies. They will also build systems that run off wind, solar and hydrogen gas, and can power a car or truck.
“We would be putting these systems on portable trucks and we’d be building micro-grid systems to go worldwide,” Green Line Energy CEO Daniel Hicks explained.
The West Virginians who once mined coal could soon be back to work, this time harvesting renewable energy.
“Coal miners, if they’re laid off or something, can come right in there with very little training. It’s not just leaving the mining industry- they’re still energy producers,” Hicks added.
The excess heat coming from converting solar, wind and hydro into energy, will be used to power greenhouses where fruits and vegetables can be grown year round. Green Line also plans to filter mine drainage water to purify for drinking. The company’s CEO is a Mingo County resident and says he wants to make his community a better place.
West Virginia Major General Hoyer released the following statement about the project:
“The West Virginia National Guard has not signed any agreement nor entered into any contract with Green Line Energy, contrary to reports. Additionally, the West Virginia National Guard has neither allocated no requested funding for any renewable energy project with the company. Talks have taken place to discuss potential pilot projects at the site but nothing further has been established.”
The National Guard also clarifies that it will not be paying for a 12 month feasibility study on Hobet, as reported by the Boone County Commission.