Western Greenbrier Co-Production Demonstration Project
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of West Virginia and coal|
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.
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. 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.
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. 
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."
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.
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
- Appalachian Center for Economy and the Environment, info [at] appalachian-center.org
- West Virginia Sierra Club, Karen Grubb, kgrubb [at] fairmontstate.edu
- West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Julian Martin, imaginemew [at] aol.com
- Greenbrier River Watershed Association, grwa [at] peoplepc.com
- Appalachian Voices, outreach [at] appvoices.org
- West Virginia Environmental Council, Chuck Wyrostok, wyro [at] appalight.com
- "Western Greenbrier Co-Production Demonstration Project," Department of Energy fact sheet, December 20, 2006.
- Tera Tuckwiller, “Groups argue against Greenbrier power plant,” The Charleston Gazette, August 30, 2006.
- "DOE Releases Final EIS for Western Greenbrier Co-Generation Demonstration Project," U.S. Department of Energy press release, November 6, 2007.
- “State May Be On $3 Million Hook for Plant,” Charleston Daily Mail, November 27, 2007.
- , Charleston Gazette, September 3, 2008
- Blame game begins in project's failure, The Register-Herald, September 6, 2008
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Coal plant litigation
- West Virginia and coal
- United States and coal
- Carbon Capture and Storage
- Existing U.S. Coal Plants
- US proposed coal plants (both active and cancelled)
- Coal plants cancelled in 2007
- Coal plants cancelled in 2008
- State-by-state guide to information on coal in the United States (or click on the map)
- "Tracking New Coal-Fired Power Plants: Coal's Resurgence in Electric Power Generation", National Energy Technology Lab, May 1, 2007, page 21. (Pdf)
- "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed December 2007. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
- “Update on Western Greenbrier CoGen Plant,” Mountain State Sierran, September 2007.
- “Editorial: Co-Gen Plant,” Beckley Register-Herald, December 2, 2007.