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Alpha Temporarily Halts Production in Wyoming County and Dominion Terminal

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BRISTOL, Tenn., June 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Alpha Metallurgical Resources, Inc. (NYSE: AMR), a leading U.S. supplier of metallurgical products for the steel industry, today announced two separate operational challenges. While both issues have been substantially resolved, they are expected to delay certain shipments that would have otherwise occurred within the second quarter of 2023.

Due to a ventilation issue likely stemming from a previously mined and worked-out area, the Road Fork 52 mine in Wyoming County, West Virginia temporarily halted production as a safety precaution while the issue was analyzed and addressed. Ventilation adjustments were made, and acceptable air quality levels were re-established in the mine, which is now back in operation. Currently, the mine is running at roughly one-third of capacity and is expected to ramp back towards full capacity in the next several days as technical inspections are performed and system functions are verified. Operations teams coordinated with the applicable regulatory agencies, as required, and no injuries or citations were incurred. The temporary shutdown of production at Road Fork 52 lasted approximately six days, which will result in the delayed shipment of coal to customers who received force majeure letters notifying them of these circumstances. Alpha expects to be able to make up these delayed tons in the third quarter.

An unrelated issue at the Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) facility in Newport News, Virginia, in which Alpha has a sixty-five percent ownership interest, has also contributed to an expected delay in Alpha shipments. At DTA, one of the stacker/reclaimer machines experienced a mechanical failure that caused it to be inoperable for approximately three days while it was repaired. This timeframe of inoperability hampered train unloading capability and created related vessel loading delays for roughly 250,000 short tons of Alpha shipments for export customers. These customers have received force majeure letters, and Alpha expects to be able to fulfill these shipments in early July. With the repairs complete and all systems operating as normal, the stacker/reclaimer is now back to full capacity.

“Our teams safely and quickly addressed the separate issues at our Road Fork 52 mine and at DTA, bringing each unfortunate interruption to a positive conclusion in a relatively short period of time,” said Andy Eidson, Alpha’s chief executive officer. “We have been in communication with our customers to explain these circumstances and reiterate our commitment to serving them. Now that we are working back towards full productive capacity at Road Fork 52, we expect to swiftly make up lost time with some extra shifts, and we are already rescheduling vessels at DTA in the early days of July.”

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GreenPower Motor Company Unveils the Mega BEAST All Electric Type D School Bus

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South Charleston, West Virginia, October 31, 2023 – GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (Nasdaq: GP) (TSXV: GPV) (“GreenPower”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of purpose-built, all-electric, zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles serving the cargo and delivery market, shuttle and transit space and school bus sector, today unveiled the Mega BEAST. This newest version of GreenPower’s all-electric Type D school bus provides double the range with the same functionality as GreenPower’s trusted and reliable BEAST all-electric school bus that is deployed in school bus fleets across the country.

GreenPower’s Mega BEAST is a 40-foot Type D all-electric, purpose-built, zero-emission school bus that delivers a class-leading range of up to 300 miles on a single charge via a 387 kWh battery pack. It provides for the longest range and has the biggest battery pack in the school bus market. The Mega BEAST can seat up to 90 passengers with standard features that include air ride suspension, ABS disk brakes and largest pass-through storage available. Featuring a modern monocoque chassis, the Mega BEAST is the safest, most durable and reliable all-electric school bus available today. Its seamlessly integrated aluminum body and chassis design forms a composite structure which is the GreenPower Truss(T) factor.

“The all-electric, purpose-built BEAST has established the new standard of performance, safety and sustainability in the school bus market. Today with the introduction of the Mega BEAST, GreenPower also sets a new industry standard in range and battery size,” said Michael Perez, GreenPower’s Vice President of School Bus, Contracts and Grants. “The extended range of the Mega BEAST will help more school districts make the switch from NOx-emitting diesel buses to the GreenPower all-electric, zero-emission option that provides a safer, cleaner and healthier ride for school kids.”

Unveiled today at the National Association of Pupil Transportation’s (NAPT) Conference and Trade Show in Columbus, Ohio, the Mega BEAST is designed to provide the answer for longer range routes and other desired uses by a school district. The extended range created by the larger battery pack is an ideal solution for many rural school districts with longer routes, school districts with less chance for mid-day opportunity charging, school districts that face extreme weather conditions and schools that also use the all-electric bus for extra-curricular activities.

“Before now, there was not a vehicle on the market that offered these longer-range capabilities. The Mega BEAST sets a new benchmark in the industry by addressing the needs and filling the gap in the current market where longer range all-electric school buses are required,” said GreenPower President Brendan Riley. “All-in-all the Mega BEAST is the same class leading vehicle as the BEAST just with a bigger battery, more range and more uphill climbing power.”

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Riley also noted that the larger battery size of the Mega BEAST is desirable for V2G applications where there is a need to use the battery as energy storage and not just for transportation purposes. “V2G is becoming a common-sense tool that helps to create a more reliable grid, promote clean energy and reduce costs. The larger battery of the Mega BEAST has the ability to provide for a more healthy and stable electric grid and community stability in areas where it is deployed and V2G is used,” he said.

The Mega BEAST joins GreenPower’s award-winning line-up of all-electric, purpose-built, zero-emission school buses including the Type D BEAST and the award-winning Type A Nano BEAST. It will be manufactured in the US at GreenPower’s facilities in both California and South Charleston, West Virginia beginning in 2024.

Read the full story here.

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Coalfield Development Selects Jacob Hannah as New CEO

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Last week, Coalfield Development Corporation’s Board of Directors unanimously approved Jacob Hannah, current Chief Conservation Officer, to be the next Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia-based nonprofit. Hannah will assume the position effective January 1, 2024.

The October 17th vote occurred after a month’s long search process involving more than 40 applicants for the position.

“I am incredibly honored and excited for this opportunity to continue to serve Appalachia in this dynamic and transformative role. And through the innovative succession model that Brandon Dennison has thoughtfully established for this role transition, I heartily believe that our organization is stepping into a new phase that will empower the momentum for a truly just transition,” Hannah said.

Hannah replaces Coalfield’s founder and current CEO, Brandon Dennison, who was named Vice President of Economic Development at Marshall University in July of this year. Dennison will continue supporting Coalfield Development as Executive President. In this new role, Dennison will help shape strategy, partnerships, and fundraising. Coalfield’s new leadership model resembles the CEO/Executive Chair model more prominent in for-profits.

“This is an important milestone for Coalfield Development. I am genuinely excited for the organization, and I have complete confidence in Jacob as the new CEO. He is going to lead this organization to achieve greater impact than ever before, but he’ll do it with integrity, compassion, and creativity,” Dennison said.

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Dennison added, “Jacob is the right leader at the right time for our region. He has lived the mission of Coalfield Development, growing up in a coal mining family. Since joining us in 2018 Jacob has served multiple leadership roles within the organization, standing up entirely new programs and supervising more than 25 employees. And Jacob has been instrumental in the ACT Now Coalition, which recently brought $100 million of new investment to southern West Virginia.”

Coalfield Development Board of Directors President Kenzie New Walker applauded the diligent efforts of the board’s search committee.

“I want to commend our search committee for shepherding such a strong hiring process. This committee was diligent and persistent in running a thorough search which connected our organization with high caliber candidates. Jacob rose to the top of this competitive group, and we’re we appreciate all the applicants who applied,” she said.  

Hannah has been an employee of Coalfield Development for five years. He previously held the role of Chief Conservation Officer.

“I come from three generations of coal mining in my family, and I am a 5th generation West Virginian. My leadership style is to integrate an empathetic and grounded approach to the strategy of triple-bottom line sustainability; balancing People, Planet, and Prosperity in harmony with each other with a lens towards a fair and just transition.

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Hannah’s work intersects the throughline of environmental considerations with social wellbeing and economic development.

“This is truly an exciting time to be at Coalfield Development and the work we are doing to better the lives of our Appalachian communities,” he said.

About Coalfield Development: Coalfield Development is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia focusing on rebuilding the Appalachian economy through social enterprise creation, job training, and community-based real-estate development.

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Natural-Gas Powered Fuel Cells to Provide Clean, Reliable Power for 500 WV Homes

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MOUNT PLEASANT, Pa., July 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — WATT Fuel Cell (“WATT”) announced that it will supply 500 residential Imperium® Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (“SOFC”) to Hope Gas, Inc., a West Virginia-based natural gas utility. The natural-gas-powered fuel cells, which operate in parallel with the commercial power grid, are sized to provide a typical home with quiet, pollution-free electric power. The new fuel cells will be offered to residential customers of Hope Gas, which serves more than 112,000 customers in 35 West Virginia counties.

WATT Fuel Cell’s technology is simple, highly efficient, and reliable: fuel and air are directly converted to electric power through an electrochemical process. But, instead of relying only on pure hydrogen for fuel, WATT’s Imperium® SOFC systems generate electric power by drawing hydrogen molecules from readily available natural gas. This remarkable power-generation process requires no combustion and is almost emission free.

Ensuring reliable on-site power is vital in West Virginia, as the state has one of the least reliable electric services in the United States, causing outages to occur at four or five times the national average. The state’s power generation plants aren’t the problem; it’s the distribution grid. Reliability problems are the greatest in rural and mountainous areas, where dense forests play havoc with vulnerable power lines and limit accessibility for line maintenance.

For customers facing these power problems, the new 1.5-kilowatt (“kW”) fuel cells, offered and installed by Hope Gas, can provide a clean and reliable answer. “A typical home consumes about 1.2 kW of power on a daily average, with demand increasing or decreasing based on the use of HVAC, electronics, or appliances,” explains Caine Finnerty, founder and CEO of WATT. “The WATT Imperium fuel cell has a 1.5 kW capacity and is designed to operate continuously in the consumer’s home, generating on-site power sufficient for most needs.”

Finnerty explains that the fuel cell runs “in parallel” with the electrical grid. That means if home power demand increases beyond the fuel cell’s 1.5 kW capacity, the home will draw additional power from the electrical grid. In the event that the grid is out, the power capacity of the fuel cell remains secure and the customer is never “out” of power due to a grid interruption.

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As concerns about energy access and grid reliability increase, Finnerty adds that, “our partnership with Hope Gas is bringing a resilient, cleaner power generation technology to West Virginia homeowners.” He points to statistics showing that power generated by fuel cells is, unit for unit, at least 50 percent cleaner (in terms of emissions) than power provided by the grid: “WATT’s completely catalytic system eliminates NOx and SOx, hydrocarbon slip, and particulates.”

“By leveraging West Virginia’s vast natural gas resources and advanced fuel-cell technology, we can create tremendous value for Hope’s customers, employees, and stakeholders,” says Morgan O’Brien, Hope Gas’s president and CEO. “Our vision is to expand the footprint within the state, including to underserved communities. Ultimately, this innovation will help us create new family-sustaining jobs and bring additional jobs into the state in year one,” he added.

Customers who adopt fuel-cell power units will enjoy immediate benefits, including energy security when storms or grid problems disrupt residential power. Wider adoption of the new power-generation technology will also help in the state’s energy transition away from coal by positioning the region as a fuel-cell “hub” and helping it to secure funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“A cleaner, hydrogen-based energy future is gaining momentum, and WATT’s fuel-flexible units can adapt to that future,” says Finnerty. “Today, our technology is poised to play a key role in forging a full spectrum of solutions to support energy transition expectations. Innovation and technology like ours will be vital to delivering on the world’s growing demand for energy, while also ensuring our economic and environmental needs are aligned.” 

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