Western Greenbrier Co-Production Demonstration Project

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of West Virginia and coal
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Western Greenbrier Co-Production, originally a joint project of three West Virginia municipalities and the Department of Energy, was granted a permit to build a 98-megawatt circulating fluidized bed coal plant in Greenbrier County. It would utilize waste coal as well as wood waste.[1]

The plant was part of President Bush’s Clean Coal Power initiative, and the Department of Energy was a co-operator, putting up $107 million for the project. Permits for Greenbrier were approved, and the plant was scheduled to be operational by 2009. Several environmental groups filed a legal appeal against the permit.[2] On March 5, 2007, the West Virginia Air Quality Board rejected their appeal. On Aug. 3, the Department of Environmental Protection granted the project a water use permit. On Nov. 6, 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy released the final Environmental Impact Statement for the project.[3]

Project costs rose from $215 million to upwards of $450 million, and sponsors were reportedly having financial difficulties; in November, Western Greenbrier CoGen defaulted on a $5 million loan from the state but subsequently renegotiated the loan. [4]

On September 3, 2008, it was made public that company officials were notified in June 2008 that the Department of Energy was pulling all funding for the project. A spokesman for the Department of Energy stated that it had become "clear that the ultimate success of the project was not likely."[5]

On September 5, 2008, Western Greenbrier CoGen issued an official news release stating that the power plant project had been canceled. The West Virginia Economic Development Authority stated the three municipalities involved in the project would not be held liable for the project's outstanding debt.[6]

Project Details

Sponsors: Western Greenbrier Co-Generation LLC and U.S. Department of Energy
Location: Rainelle, Greenbrier County, WV
Capacity: 98 megawatts
Type: circulating fluidized bed
Projected in service: 2009
Status: Canceled

Financing

Citizen Groups

Resources

References

  1. "Western Greenbrier Co-Production Demonstration Project," Department of Energy fact sheet, December 20, 2006.
  2. Tera Tuckwiller, “Groups argue against Greenbrier power plant,” The Charleston Gazette, August 30, 2006.
  3. "DOE Releases Final EIS for Western Greenbrier Co-Generation Demonstration Project," U.S. Department of Energy press release, November 6, 2007.
  4. “State May Be On $3 Million Hook for Plant,” Charleston Daily Mail, November 27, 2007.
  5. [1], Charleston Gazette, September 3, 2008
  6. Blame game begins in project's failure, The Register-Herald, September 6, 2008

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