Construction began Monday on Black Rock, a 115-megawatt wind farm atop Mount Storm in Grant and Mineral counties.

“Black Rock represents a significant investment in West Virginia’s energy economy,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway, the San Francisco-based firm that’s building Black Rock. “We see a great future for renewable energy in the Mountain State’s economy.”

A map provided by the governor’s office indicated the turbines will be in a north- south line on either side of U.S. 50 at the top of Mount Storm, just east of the intersection with Route 42 that runs north to Elk Garden.

The project will have 23 turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Black Rock is expected to begin commercial operations later this year.

Once complete, the project will increase West Virginia’s wind power by 15 percent.

Both Gov. Jim Justice and Clearway touted Black Rock’s benefit to the local economy in their joint virtual announcement Monday afternoon.

During construction, Black Rock will create at least 200 jobs. Construction is being led by Bechtel Corporation and Reed and Reed.

Once operational, the project will pay $5.7 million in property taxes to the 2 counties and $9 million in business-and-occupation taxes to the state over the life of the project.

In addition, Clearway has established the Black Rock Community Benefit Fund, which will donate $50,000 to local nonprofits yearly throughout the project’s lifespan.

Neither Clearway nor Justice said what the life of the project will be.

“This investment, this innovation, this diversification for West Virginia is amazing,” Gov. Justice said.

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