At two McDonald’s restaurants in West Virginia, customers can refuel their bodies – and recharge their electric cars. The McDonald’s at the corner of Fifth Avenue and First Street in Huntington is the first in the country with Level 2 electric car chargers. The nation’s second — the East End McDonald’s in Charleston— opened in June 2011. The Huntington restaurant replaced the one on Washington Ave., notable as the first McDonald’s in West Virginia. The original restaurant was owned by the father of current franchise owner Tom Wolf. During the charging station’s grand opening in December 2010, Chris Schafer, electric transportation program manager for American Electric Power (AEP), was on hand with the company’s Ford Escape plug-in electric vehicle. Wolf acknowledges that electric cars are not the norm – yet. “Tom is making this cutting edge technology available here and now as more customers turn to electric cars in the future,” said Emily Myers, public relations representative for Wolfe’s franchise. “Tom sees this as a progressive effort that prepares for the future and makes use of West Virginia’s resources today.” For more about the Huntington McDonald’s electric car charger, visit Genuinewv.org/HuntingtonMcDonald.
McDonald’s fuel for thought.
Hawks Nest Hydropower was constructed as a 25 Hz generation facility during
the early 1930s in Ansted in Fayette County. Water from the New River was diverted
into a 30-foot diameter tunnel that would run three miles and drop 162 feet under
Gauley Mountain before being used to power four 25.5 MW 25Hz hydroelectric units.
A historical marker at Hawks Nest overlook commemorates the deaths of hundreds of
workers – mostly African-American – who died from silicosis during
construction of the tunnel. Since it went online in 1936, the plant
has been producing electricity for the electrometallurgical plant, 12
miles downstream. Nearby, Hawks Nest State Park offers walking
trails with good views of the surrounding gorge and the Hawks
Nest Dam and Lake. Hawks Nest State Park offers aerial tram rides
overlooking the river, lake and dam. The place to start planning
your visit to park is wvtourism.com/HawksNest.
On the way back from Hawks Nest, visit another water-generated power producer
at Glen Ferris Hydroelectric Plant. Built in 1899 on the Kanawha River, the 5.45
megawatt Glen Ferris hydroelectric plant powered the local industry. In 2010, Brookfield
Renewable Power began a $25 million rehabilitation of the historic facility. Plans call for
all eight turbines to be restored to service in 2012. No tours are given due to safety and
security reasons, but the plant and construction can be seen from the Kanawha Falls
fishing area. The Glen Ferris Inn provides a vantage point to view the falls and plant.
The Kanawha River helped fuel the hydroelectric
Glen Ferris plant, 35 miles southeast of Charleston.
Mount Storm Wind Farms
Wrap up your energy tour at the NedPower Mount Storm Wind Farm in Grant
County. It is the largest wind farm in the East, consisting of 132 wind
turbines along 12 miles of the Allegheny Front.
The farm generates 264 megawatts of electricity
from wind, a renewable energy source. To find
additional attractions in the area, visit wvtourism.com/MountStormLake.
NedPower Mount Storm Wind Farm