KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Business magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates visited Kanawha County, West Virginia, today, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 to look into a possible new site for his power company’s nuclear reactors.
Gates joined U.S. Senator Joe Manchin to tour the site of an old coal-fired power plant where one of his companies, TerraPower, is considering building small nuclear reactors. Manchin’s office says an old coal plant in Glasgow along the Kanawha River is thought to be a potential site for a nuclear generator.
Following the tour of the power plant, Gates and Manchin sat down for a fireside chat at the Clay Center Planetarium in Charleston hosted by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, the AFL-CIO, the Charleston Area Alliance and the Huntington Chamber of Commerce. Marshall University President Brad D. Smith served as the moderator for the event.
The chat lasted more than an hour with Gates, Manchin and other participants talking about the future of energy production in America and what role West Virginia will play in that future.
While no formal announcement was made today, there is a possibility one could be coming.
“I actually think I’ll make money on it. I mean, I went into it for the climate benefits, but I also think it will be very economic, so I can take that profit and put into more energy work,” Gates said.
Gates has previously used the former site of a coal-fired power plant in Wyoming for a similar project. He is also already a heavy investor in Form Energy, the battery making company that has recently announced it is taking over the old Weirton Steel plant in the Northern Panhandle.