Clearway Energy Group (“Clearway”) announced today that it reached commercial operations on Black Rock, a 115 MW wind farm that spans West Virginia’s Grant and Mineral counties and will increase the state’s wind energy generation by 15 percent. Black Rock is contracted under long-term power purchase agreements with customers Toyota Motor North America (Toyota) and AEP Energy Partners, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Electric Power, both major employers in West Virginia.
“We’re proud that Clearway is leading the growth of renewable energy in West Virginia and supporting local jobs and investments in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway. “Black Rock is our third wind farm to expand the Mountain State’s clean energy workforce and drive significant local spending and taxes. We thank Toyota, AEP Energy Partners, and all our partners for bringing Black Rock to life. We also extend our gratitude to Governor Jim Justice and state elected officials who worked hand in hand to ensure this wind farm will generate long-term benefits for local communities and beyond.”
Black Rock created more than 200 union jobs during construction and nearly a dozen permanent operations jobs, including through a partnership with Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College to hire program graduates and workers displaced from the coal industry. Together with the Mount Storm and Pinnacle Wind farms, the completion of Black Rock makes Clearway one of the leading taxpayers in Grant and Mineral counties, which alone contributes $12 million in property taxes and $9 million in Business & Occupation taxes during the life of the project.
Clearway established the Black Rock Community Benefit Fund, which will donate $50,000 to local nonprofits every year. The charitable fund models the successful community-led effort sponsored by the nearby Pinnacle Wind Farm and will announce its first round of grants this spring.
“We value partners like Clearway that share our vision for improving lives within communities, including those where our team members work and live, like West Virginia,” said Chris Reynolds, Chief Administrative Officer, Toyota Motor North America. “Toyota is making significant investments in and aggressively pursuing environmental technologies to achieve our goal of carbon neutrality at our manufacturing facilities by 2035.”
Black Rock’s 23 state-of-the-art wind turbines will generate enough electricity to power 55,000 West Virginia homes each year. Clearway is the largest operator of renewable energy in the state and invested more than $460 million in West Virginia last year developing, building, and repowering wind projects. The company’s 550 MW portfolio in the state includes another 120 MW wind farm under development in the same region.
“AEP Energy Partners is proud to provide customers with integrated, carbon-free energy that fulfills their sustainability goals, delivers long-term price stability and benefits the environment. Our partnership with Clearway Energy Group demonstrates our commitment to the development of new renewable resources that both empower local communities and support a cleaner, brighter energy future,” said Greg Hall, executive vice president, Energy Supply, AEP.
In 2020, Clearway announced a joint equity transaction with climate investment firm Hannon Armstrong (NYSE: HASI) and Clearway Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CWEN, CWEN.A) for a 1.6 GW portfolio that includes Black Rock.
About Clearway Energy Group
Clearway Energy Group is leading the transition to a world powered by clean energy. Along with our public affiliate Clearway Energy, Inc., we own and operate more than 8 gigawatts of renewable and conventional energy assets across the country. As we develop a nationwide pipeline of new renewable energy projects for the future, Clearway’s 5.6 gigawatts of wind, solar, and energy storage assets offset the equivalent of more than 10.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions for our customers today. Clearway Energy Group is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Carlsbad, Calif.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Houston; and Princeton, N.J. For more information, visit clearwayenergygroup.com.
About AEP’s Competitive Operations
American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) subsidiaries AEP Renewables, AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, and OnSite Partners deliver a wide array of innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. With a commitment to a clean energy future, AEP’s competitive businesses currently own over 1,900 megawatts of wind, solar and energy storage on both a utility scale and distributed scale basis. Solving energy problems for customers, AEP Renewables and its affiliates own and operate over 90 behind-the-meter projects in 26 different states and have an active development pipeline across the U.S. As a competitive retail and wholesale electricity and natural gas supplier, AEP Energy serves over 700,000 residential and business customers in 28 service territories in six states and Washington, D.C. As one of the largest wholesale suppliers in the country, AEP Energy Partners specializes in offering customized wholesale power supply products based on the specific needs of customers’ electric systems within ERCOT, MISO, PJM and SPP. AEP Energy Partners also sells renewable energy through long-term contracts with utilities, electric cooperatives, municipalities and corporate customers. Based in Columbus, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois and San Diego, California, AEP’s family of competitive companies takes pride in making it easy for customers and partners to buy, manage and use energy. For more information, visit www.aeprenewables.com.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our more than 1,800 dealerships.
Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 43 million cars and trucks at our 13 manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 14th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. Toyota has more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, with electrified vehicles comprising more than a quarter of the company’s 2021 North American sales.
Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.ToyotaNewsroom.com.