WVU, major global energy company enter partnership

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - One West Virginia University official said it's a big step toward the future of energy in our country.

The Shenhua Group from China and WVU partnered to find ways to promote cleaner and cheaper energy not just in the Mountain State, but around the entire country.

The Shenhua Group is thought to be one of the world's largest energy companies. One of the main reasons for the partnership would be to promote cleaner, cheaper energy not just in West Virginia, but around the country.

"This is part of a U.S. China relationship trying to develop improved ways to generate power from coal and other fossil resources while minimizing the environmental impact," said Fred King, the VP of Research at WVU.

Another benefit is the research and collaboration it would provide between students and faculty.

"We're partnering on educational programs and research opportunities that exist in partnership between the Shenhua Group in China and WVU," said Brian Anderson, the Director of the WVU Energy Institute. "It's actually really exciting to partner with a company that is probably the biggest coal company in the world."

Experts feel it will benefit the entire country. Anderson says he feels both Shenhua and WVU can work together to help bring clean energy to the Mountain State.

"There's a lot of similarities between West Virginia and China," Anderson said. "In West Virginia, we produce most of our energy using coal and so do they in China. If we can develop these breakthrough technologies, then we can lead to a new revolution in the utilization of coal for energy resources."

U.S. Congressman David McKinley released a statement to 5 News reading, "Our mission has been to diversify the economy through research so we can grow the number of good paying jobs here in West Virginia. The signing of today’s agreement is a welcome development because the partnership between Shenhua and West Virginia University will help achieve that goal,” said McKinley.