Curtis Tate Published

Berkeley County Solar Farm Will Help Power Nucor Steel's Plant

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A planned solar facility in the Eastern Panhandle will help power a new steel mill that’s coming to West Virginia.

Nucor Steel agreed earlier this year to bring a new steel mill to Mason County.

As part of that agreement, Nucor required the availability of renewable power. According to filings with the Public Service Commission, at least some of that power will come from a solar farm in Berkeley County.

Appalachian Power is seeking approval from the PSC to acquire the 50-megawatt project, about five miles northeast of Martinsburg.

If approved, the solar facility could power other industrial customers in West Virginia and Virginia.

Though Appalachian Power would recover the cost of acquiring the facility through ratepayers, the company’s written testimony says any customer surcharge would be offset by the power the facility generates.

The solar project is the result of Senate Bill 583, enacted in 2020 to encourage the development of renewables.

Appalachian Power is an underwriter of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.