Authors: Green For All
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. - Green For All Fellows Mike McKechnie and Eric Mathis are hard at work creating green jobs and supporting local businesses in the process.
The partnership between The Jobs Project (Eric) and Mountain View Solar and Wind (Mike) is focused on helping local communities reap the economic benefits of a clean-energy economy, while using local resources and people to get the job done.
The solar panel project for a medical clinic in Williamson, West Virginia has employed about a dozen local people and used local materials whenever possible.
While it will reduce the clinic's energy costs by 20% and pay for itself in a few years, what is significant about the project is not its scale but that it represents a new economic model for southern West Virginia, an area traditionally dependent on the coal industry.
Mike McKechnie says it's not about replacing coal, but creating a new way to boost the economy:
"It lasts a long time, makes energy every time the sun shines, and it will keep doing that for 40-50 years, so installing that is a way to help the medical clinic have a lower utility bill. It's an investment that they've made and the investment will pay itself back in this scenario in 7 years or less."