Chris Beam, the new president of Appalachian Power, plans to move towards renewable energy in hopes to attract large businesses to West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee.

Top tech companies such as Amazon and Google are on the lookout for new locations for data and distribution centers, and both of these companies require 100 percent clean reusable energy. Beam said bringing these companies to West Virginia could have a massive impact on the region.

“So if we want to bring in those jobs, and those are good jobs, those are good-paying jobs that support our universities because they hire our engineers, they have requirements now, and we have to be mindful of what our customers want,” Beam told the West Virginia Gazette-Mail.

Stepping back from coal might be tough for a region that has depended on the coal industry for jobs for decades. In the near future, Appalachian Power plans to build a wind farm in Southern West Virginia.

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