West Virginia was the first state to begin implementing a statewide Smart Grid Plan. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory teamed up with Horizon Energy Group out of Tennessee – where Nashville has had their “Green Power Switch” in place for some time – to begin a study for a possible West Virginia state Smart Grid.
“Every time you turn on a light switch, BOOM, you’re blowing up someone’s back yard.” I was introduced to Ed Wiley, the extraordinary man just quoted, by Kathy Mattea backstage at the Mountain Aid Benefit Concert. She came out to Shakori Hills on her fiftieth birthday to help Ed raise money for his granddaughter and all the children of Marsh Fork Elementary School who are victims of mountain top removal coal mining. Just three hundred feet behind this school, there is a 1,849 acre mountain top removal sight with an unstable slate dam holding 2.8 billion gallons of toxic waste from the coal cleaning process. The community’s water supply is already contaminated, and the children of Marsh Fork Elementary have been going home sick on a regular basis for months.