MASON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has approved a solar power plant project that will have more than 220,000 solar panels and create 319 construction jobs.
According to the PSC, New Haven PV I applied to build the 100-megawatt solar facility on Aug. 18. The facility will be built on 1,555 acres in Mason County, around 3.5 miles south of New Haven.
The energy will be created through 226,356 solar panels and will be sent through an existing power line to Appalachian Power Company, the PSC said.
New Haven PV I in its application said there will be a $97 million investment and 319 construction jobs created, the PSC said.
This comes as a slew of other projects are making their way to Mason County. Two notable examples being Nucor Steel, which broke ground on Oct. 20, and Fidelis New Energy, who announced their plans to build a clean hydrogen plant to use for the company’s planned data center campus, as well as greenhouses, transportation and steel production, on Aug. 16.
Nucor, which is the largest steel company in North America, and Fidelis are projected to provide about 1,600 full-time jobs in Mason County.
After Fidelis announced their plans, Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley said both are wins for the county.
“When you hit a home run once in your lifetime, it’s great. Now we’ve hit two,” Handley said. “Two amazing factories, industries coming into Mason County. It’ll change the county from what it is right now.”
With the job influx, John Musgrave with the Mason County Development Authority believes the county’s population will triple in the next decade.
Musgrave added that Mason, Cabell, Putnam, Lincoln and Jackson counties are all participating in a housing study with Advantage Valley to determine how much housing demand will be created by Fidelis moving in.
In addition, Musgrave and Handley believe Fidelis opens the door for out-of-state employees to come to Mason County for work.
Stephen Machir, who lives in Point Pleasant, said at the time that is a positive for the community.
“I honestly don’t care where they come from, just as long as the work gets done,” Machie said. Woods feels the same way.
According to the Mason County Development Authority, construction is expected to get underway by 2024 at the latest. They say it will be open for operations by 2028.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.