Ohio Power Siting Board approves $800 million Lordstown power plant

Staff report


The Ohio Power Siting Board on Thursday authorized Clean Energy Future-Lordstown to construct an 800-megawatt natural-gas-fired power plant in Lordstown.

The Lordstown Energy Center will be located on 17 acres in the Lordstown Industrial Park east of state Route 45 and south of Henn Parkway.

The facility and associated transmission infrastructure will interconnect to the American Transmission Systems Inc. bulk transmission system.

The company plans to start construction later this year and will begin commercial operation by May 2018.

According to Clean Energy Future, the project represents a construction investment of more than $850 million and will support an estimated 1,026 related jobs in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

The approval is the final one required by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, a PUCO spokesman said earlier.

The Power Siting Board reviews plans for new power plants through a monthslong process that includes public hearings and consideration by legal counsel.

Staff had determined earlier that the project complied with state law and other requirements and would have minimum adverse environmental impact on the area, said Matt Shilling, a PUCO spokesman.

There was no opposition among 14 people giving testimony on the project before Administrative Law Judge Greta See of Columbus during a hearing in July.

Bill Siderewicz, president of Clean Energy Future of Massachusetts, said he believes the plant could have a $1.45 billion impact on the Mahoning Valley in its first 25 years of operation.

Arno Hill, Lordstown mayor, said the approval is great news, especially for people like him who have been working “a long 20 months” to see it through.

“Hopefully we’ll see a groundbreaking by the end of next month,” he said. “I’m very, very excited about this.”

Hill said two of the biggest payoffs from the project are the 400 to 500 construction jobs and the benefits to the Lordstown school system that will result.

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