The West Virginia. Cyclopedia


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Virginian Power Company: Cabin Creek Power Plant

Cabin Creek Power Plant, circa 1970s
The Cabin Creek Power Plant, located at at Cabin Creek, WV, was one of the early commercial power plants built in West Virginia. The plant was built in 1914 by Virginia Electric Power (later Appalachian Electric Power) with a capacity of about 15,000 kilowatts. The plant was expanded in 1919, 1921, 1925, 1926, 1931, and during 1941-42 to 295,000 killowatts, as demand for more power increased in the area. In 1948, the plant consumed 1,216,481 tons of coal.

When the Cabin Creek Plant was built, Virginian Power also erected about 200 miles of transmission lines into the New River and Kanawha coal fields. Although numerous electric power generating plants had been built throughout the New River Coal Field by coal mining companies prior to 1914, these plants typical supplied power only for local use only, e.g., for use by the company's mines and the mining towns. The first electrical plant employed for cutting and haulage in West Virginia was constructed at the coal mining operation at Erskine in 1889 -- the second of its kind in the nation.

During their early decades of operations, most of the electric utility companies in West Virginia depended almost totally on industrial customers, primarily the coal industry.(1) The Cabin Creek Power Plant continued in operation until the 1970s, and at that time it was the oldest power plant in the Appalachian Electric Power system. The plant was apparently closed because it wasn't economically feasable to bring the plant in compliance with contemporary emission standards.


1. West Virginia Employment and Industrial Review, West Virginia Department of Employment Security, 1953 (reprinting of a 1936 article): "Were it not for the power sold to coal mines, according to a statements of electric utility companies, they could not operate in West Virginia for the reason that their revenues from the sale of electricity to householders are not sufficient to pay the companies' tax bills to the State."

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current00:21, 24 August 2007Thumbnail for version as of 00:21, 24 August 2007858 × 534 (250 KB)Gibsonian (Talk | contribs)Cabin Creek Power Plant at Cabin Creek, WV -- one of the early commerical power plants built in West Virginia
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