Solar power making its mark in eastern panhandle

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CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — In the eastern panhandle, the popularity of solar power is catching on with a proposed solar farm in Jefferson County and a consumer appetite for the modern energy source.

Mike Studholme with Mountain View Solar and said, “The industry is thriving and is booming. Residents, businesses, even industrial scale, solar is going in all over the state.”

A nearly 800-acre industrial solar farm is being sited in Jefferson County. The appeal?

Danny Chiotos, also with Mountain View Solar, said, “It can reduce electric bills here in the panhandle all the way down to six dollars a month.”

Aside from the consumer standpoint, solar jobs are on the rise. In a state known for its mining, the solar industry is growing employment.

“There’s a lot of job growth in this industry,” said Studholme. “It’s a booming industry and I wouldn’t live in West Virginia if it wasn’t for the solar industry with all the opportunity here.”

“I think it’s about creating those good solar jobs in communities that have historically been fossil fuel communities,” Chiotos said.

The West Virginia Building and Trades Council has registered its support for the project. Developers of the Jefferson County solar farm- the 800-acre “Wind Hill” project- have a $125 million investment in it.

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