By Josephine E. Moore The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Plans are moving forward to convert more than 500 acres of former farmland in Raleigh County into one of southern West Virginia’s first solar farms.
Representatives with Enel Green Power North America attended a Raleigh County Commission meeting earlier in June to provide an update on the Raleigh Solar Farm project.
Raleigh Solar, which has been in the works since 2020, will be developed on approximately 530 acres of farmland east of Interstate 64 in Beaver near the Grandview Country Store and on both sides of Grandview Road.
The farmland was initially purchased by Dakota Renewable Energy and then acquired by Enel Green Power North America, the U.S. arm of Italy-based Enel Green Power, in 2021.
According to information provided to The Register-Herald by Sam Judd, senior development manager for the Northeast Region of Enel North America, construction of the solar farm is expected to begin in 2024 and it should be operational by 2025.
Judd said the project represents a $90 million investment in Raleigh County, is expected to provide more than 150 local jobs and will produce electricity equivalent to the needs of 16,000 West Virginia households every year.