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Alternative Energies

Alternative EnergiesHungtington

Alternative Energies
McDonald’s fuel for thought.

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

Alternative EnergiesAnsted
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.

Alternative EnergiesGlen Ferris

Alternative Energies
The Kanawha River helped fuel the hydroelectric Glen Ferris plant, 35 miles southeast of Charleston.

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.

Alternative EnergiesMount Storm Wind Farms

Alternative Energies
NedPower Mount Storm Wind Farm

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.
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Alternative Energies

Evansdale - Taking a Shine to Solar
The state’s largest solar electric system sits atop the roof of The Book Exchange on Patteson Drive in Evansdale, Monongalia County. The 52 PV panels gather energy from the sun and produce an estimated 10 percent of the store’s annual energy needs. The system was designed and installed by West Virginia-based PIMBY Energy.