The long term cost of COAL power VS. WIND power

Wind farm campaign for Coal River Mountain

Residents of West Virginia’s Coal River Valley have launched an exciting new campaign to bring a wind farm to Coal River Mountain.

Coal River Mountain is one of the last mountains left intact in the beautiful Coal River Valley of West Virginia. However, Massey Energy has plans to mine 6600 acres of the mountain – almost 10 square miles of what would be the tallest peaks ever to be mined in West Virginia.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to mountaintop removal mining – wind power. This is a unique opportunity to move our nation and West Virginia toward the production of clean energy, and to preserve our nation’s mountains for generations to come.

But the best part of the wind project is that it could generate electricity at a lower cost than a new coal-fired power plant such as Duke Energy’s proposal for the Cliffside power station in North Carolina. Considering that:

– The cost of building coal-fired power plants has more than doubled in the last few years;

– The price of Central Appalachian coal is up more than 500% since 2000;

– Congress is poised to act on climate change legislation that would drive the cost of coal power even higher; can we afford not to invest in clean and renewable energy?

Please visit for more information and to get involved. And don’t forget to sign the petition and tell your friends to do the same.

Benefits of a Coal River Mountain wind farm:

  • Create Jobs – 200 local employment opportunities during construction, and 50 permanent jobs during the life of the wind farm. It takes only 27 years for a wind farm to provide a greater number of one-year jobs than the four surface mines combined.
  • Create Energy – Provide 440MW or enough energy for 105,000 homes – indefinitely, as well as a sustained tax income that could be used for the construction of new schools for the county.
  • Create Economic Potential – Allow for concurrent uses of the mountain including harvesting of wild ginseng and valuable forest plants, sustainable forestry, and mountain tourism, as Coal River Mountain is one of West Virginia’s finest mountains.
  • Preserve Heritage – Coal River Mountain has provided for the people of the Coal River Valley for generations. A mountaintop removal mine would block residents from the mountain and destroy the lands ancestors once lived on, as well as the family cemeteries they rest in.
  • Protect the Land and Community – More than 500,000 acres in West Virginia alone have been destroyed by surface mining. Mountaintop Removal mining buries and poisons drinking water, increases flooding, damages homes and personal property, and devastates wildlife habitat.
  • ————-
    1. “Duke Energy Carolinas’ Advanced Clean Coal Cliffside Unit 6 Cost Estimate Report, June 29, 2007” NC Utilities Commission Docket No. E-7, Sub 790
    2. Coal River Wind Fact Sheet – accessed 20 August, 2008 (
    3. Based on DOE/NETL-402/061308, June, 2008, “The Impact of Advanced Syngas Conversion Technologies on the Cost of Electricity from Gasification-based Power Generation Platforms.” Numbers were derived from parameters in the “SCPC” Baseline power system example in the LCOE model (Table 1, page 4) with adjustments made for stated capacity and current cost figures for the Duke Cliffside proposal.
    4. Source: CPUC GHG Model Documentation: New Wind Generation Resource, Cost, and Performance Assumptions ( Based on Wind Busbar Levelized Costs by Zone model (Table B) using a base capital cost of $1,635 /kW installed capacity. Model inputs adjusted based on the Coal River Wind Project fact sheet (reference 2).
    5. Based on average US residential customer consumption of 920 kWH/month). Source: EIA/DOE Electric Sales, Revenue, and Price, 2006.

    6. Based on the spot market price ($140 per short ton) and Btu content of Central Appalachia Coal (Big Sandy/Kanawha 12,500 Btu,1.2 lbSO2/mmBtu) from the EIA weekly coal report for the week of August 22nd, 2008. Source: Total coal consumption was determined from the DOE/NETL model (see reference 3) using a Btu content of 12,500 Btu/lb and a transportation cost of 25% above minemouth price (assumption for eastern coal – see reference 3).

    Related Articles

    Latest News

    Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.


    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Leave a Comment