Beech Ridge Wind Energy Center brings another source of power to region

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RUPERT, WV (WVNS) — In an effort to bring more clean, sustainable energy to the southern West Virginia, one company is installing more than a dozen new windmills in Greenbrier County.

Beginning in 2010, Beech Ridge Wind Energy Center installed more than 60 windmills. Now, the Operations and Maintenance Manager, Eric Ritchie, said they are adding 20 more.

“We’re in an area that’s proven to be a windy… A very efficient area,” Ritchie said. “So we’re installing more to help accommodate the supply and demand.”

These windmills power at least 27,000 homes in the Rupert area of Greenbrier County and with the improvements, can be expected to cover many more. Ritchie said the project is operated and maintained by 10 full-time employees, since much of the windmills’ job is self-propelled.

“They will self adjust to find the wind and once they find the wind, they just start spinning up,” Ritchie said.

This clean energy supply is not just beneficial to the environment, it benefits West Virginia’s economy. Ritchie said it serves as an alternative to coal, which diversifies the state’s economy that is predominantly rooted in coal.

“There’s alternatives. Not that I’m anti-coal or anything like that,” Ritchie said. “That’s the farthest thing from the truth. It’s just there are alternatives to coal.”

Windmills were moved from the Sam Black Church area to Anjean Mountain over the last couple weeks. Starting around 9 a.m., people can catch the windmills being moved in pieces along Route 60.

The project is expected to be completed in February of 2020.

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