Big Business Looking at Brooke County


BROOKE COUNTY, W.Va. — A company is looking into plans to build two natural gas power plants in Beech Bottom. Energy Solutions Consortium has its eye on the old Wheeling Corrugating plant. Under the proposal, the company would pump $800 million into the creation of two plants. On Tuesday morning, Brooke County Commissioners agreed to allow the company to explore the options in the county, and they’re confident the area has a good chance of being selected. The plants would operate using a gas-by-wire process, meaning natural gas will be converted into electricity and moved along existing lines. In the discussion are about 800 construction jobs and 60-80 full-time positions paying $80,000 annually. “Brooke County has a few features that make it an attractive location,” Energy Solutions Consortium spokesperson Curtis Wilkerson said. “Access to the river is huge for barge traffic, and the second is the immediate gas supply.” Wilkerson said Brooke County is one of several locations in the running. “It will be high-waged jobs,” said Marvin Six, assistant director of the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle. “It won’t be minimum wage jobs, and that’s what we look for as individuals; jobs that will sustain a livelihood for a household.” Brooke County Commissioner Tim Ennis adds the project would open doors to future development. And he’s optimistic about the county’s chances. “The group will have to invest millions of dollars before they even turn one shovel of dirt, so if they are willing to put in that much money, I would think that things look pretty positive for it,” Ennis said. In April, Brooke County will be placed into a queue for consideration. Then it will be months before we find out if the project is accepted.

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