MAIDSVILLE, W.Va. – Longview Power announced that Stephen Nelson has been promoted to be its chief executive officer, and former CEO Jeff Keffer will become the chairman of the board.
According to a Longview press release, Nelson joined Longview Power in 2014 as its senior vice president responsible for designing and managing the highly successful rehabilitation of the 710 MW supercritical coal-fired plant, completed in 2015. Since then, Nelson, as the chief operating officer, was the leader behind the Longview Power plant becoming the lowest cost, most reliable, and cleanest coal-fired power plant in the United States. Nelson takes over after the company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is an exciting and challenging time to take the reins at Longview Power. Because other states have subsidized their preferred sources of electricity generation, such as renewables and nuclear power, market prices have been distorted and not supported coal generation. Coal provides the resiliency and reliability that renewables and natural gas cannot provide. West Virginia needs to recognize that unless it takes steps to support coal generation, its highly reliable coal generation fleet and the many coal mining jobs that produce that coal may soon disappear. The Longview coal plant has state of the art technology and a world class plant staff able to achieve the highest reliability at very low cost, but the plant has gone through two bankruptcies, in large part due to the energy markets.Steve Nelson – CEO
In the release, Nelson said Longview recognizes that West Virginia needs to use all of its natural resources and to that end has substantially completed the development of a cutting edge technology, the 1250 MW combined-cycle gas-fired turbine generation facility and a solar facility adjacent to the coal plant.
He added that the CCGT and solar facility received final siting certificates from the West Virginia Public Service Commission in April, and the gas plant is in the final stages for an air permit and interconnection agreement from PJM. These facilities will utilize abundant local natural resources to produce low-cost energy for the State for years to come.
Rounding out the Longview Power management team are Eric Cada, Chief Financial Officer who joined the Company in 2018, and Randy Gillespie who has been promoted to Chief Commercial Officer after serving as VP Energy Marketing since 2015, according to the release.