Economic Jolt

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It has only seven employees, and only operates a collective 30 to 40 days out of an entire year. But the $120-million power plant is considered the future of electric power in the area.

"We've got a good supply of water, a good supply of natural gas; we've been able to have a positive workforce, a lot of whom were local labor, to build this plant," says Dominion Energy Senior Vice-President Ed Rivas. "I couldn't ask for a better community to be a neighbor in."

The thing company officials are proudest of, is that construction was completed ahead of time and under budget. And, with an uncertain financial picture, West Virginia officials are promoting its benefits to the state budget.

"It's going to produce tax revenues and revenues for the company," says Gov. Bob Wise, who took part in Wednesday's dedication. "I can point to this plant and say, ' you can never worry about losing power'. We export a certain amount and this plant is further indication of that."

Pleasants County has lost some of its industrial base in the past decade. Local economic boosters hope this new wave energy plan can turn that picture around.

Dominion, which owns the facility, has also recently opened similar plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania.