Mon Power is Hyped Up for New Project

An artist rendering of the Hyperloop Certification Center and test track planning in Mon Power's territory.

July 13, 2021

In his 30 years with the company, Lucas Cade has never seen a project like the planned construction of a Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC) on 800 acres of land in Mon Power’s service territory.

“The HCC will be a boon for West Virginia in every way imaginable,” said Lucas, consultant, Economic Development. “It will bring investment, jobs and growth to the state – specifically Tucker and Grant counties where the certification center and six-mile test track will be located. It also will be a big opportunity for Mon Power.”

The hyperloop system uses enclosed pods to move people and goods through a vacuum tube at speeds exceeding 600 mph. If the technology can be implemented on a large scale, it would enable travel from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 41 minutes, or from New York City to Washington, D.C., in just 30 minutes. Virgin Hyperloop – an American transportation technology company – is building the HCC to demonstrate to regulators, safety organizations and other interested parties that the technology works and is safe for passengers.

Mon Power is working with Virgin Hyperloop to determine the power requirements of the new facility, according to Rodney Liston, manager, Customer Accounts. “There is very little electrical infrastructure currently around the proposed site,” he said. “We will have to expand our distribution network in the area to deliver electricity to the certification building and test track.”

Rodney added: “We’re developing a plan to supply power to the site for use during construction. It’s a very rural area with mountainous terrain, but our line crews are experts at safely navigating this type of environment.”

Once complete, the HCC will include a welcome center, certification track and operations center, pod assembly facility, production development test center, and operations, maintenance and safety training center. The p​roject is expected to create thousands of jobs in the construction, manufacturing, operations, and technology sectors – many of which Virgin Hyperloop plans to source locally.

“More than a dozen other states were interested in hosting the HCC facility, so this is a big win for West Virginia and Mon Power,” added Lucas. “The area was chosen for its topography, access to a knowledgeable and skilled workforce, and proximity to Washington, D.C.”

Construction of the HCC is scheduled to begin later this year and the facility is expected to be up and running in 2025.

Construction of the hyperloop facility in a rural region of West Virginia is scheduled to begin later this year.

On Track for Future Growth

Construction of the HCC is just the start of a much larger expansion project that is slated to include shopping centers, golf courses and planned communities in a region located southeast of Mon Power’s Fairmont headquarters. In addition to added tax revenue, this proposed development is expected to bring up to 6,000 jobs to West Virginia’s Tucker and Grant counties.

“Those of us who live and work in the area know that recreational options in West Virginia are limitless – especially outdoors,” said Lucas. “Mon Power is excited to be a part of this unique growth opportunity and committed to making sure we meet the needs of our customers in the area.”