SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – It’s official! A new company is operating in West Virginia and hopes to expand in the coming years. This is a new energy company here in the mountain state, and it promises clean, renewable energy products.
In a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, August 30, the GreenPower Motor Company officially launched its manufacturing facility in South Charleston. GreenPower manufactures battery-powered electric school buses and has offices in Canada and California, in addition to West Virginia.
Among those able to drive one of the press buses was none other than West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. Right now, GreenPower has 17 employees here in the Mountain State, but that’s expected to swell to more than 200 within a year.
“The industry has hundreds of buses on the streets of the United States across the country. And they have performed very well, and again, clean air vehicles, without polluting the environment,” said said Brendan Riley, president of GreenPower.
“They let me know that was the site they had chosen, and so immediately we bring all the players together to start negotiations and get the deal done,” South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said.
GreenPower has already sold three electric school buses in West Virginia and expects more than 100 of its buses to be on the roads here within a year. Training and education programs are underway at Bridge Valley Community and Technical College to help prepare the workforce.
There are also federal grant programs that can help school districts qualify for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in assistance to begin the transition to electric buses.