Questions arise on Lordstown power plant


By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

LORDSTOWN

An informational meeting Monday night at Lords-town High School provided a chance for the public to learn about the second Clean Energy Future power plant proposed for the Lords- town Industrial Park.

But residents of the Goldner Lane neighborhood just east of the industrial park mostly raised issues about the construction of the first plant that is underway now.

Jamie Moseley, who owns two properties on Goldner, said his biggest concern is a power substation – also referred to as a transfer station or switch yard – being constructed just north of Goldner, about 900 feet from one of his properties.

Moseley said he doesn’t know a lot about the magnetic fields substations give off. “I just know it’s not good to live by them,” he said.

Bill Siderewicz, president of the Clean Energy Future, said, however, electromagnetic forces to be produced by the substation are “well below the standards allowed by the Ohio Department of Health.”

Clean Energy Future is partially through constructing the Lordstown Energy Center, an $890 million gas-powered power plant off Henn Parkway, using cranes stretching hundreds of feet into the air and trucks operating 24 hours a day.

But the company also is preparing to ask the Ohio Power Citing Board and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for authorization to build a second, almost identical one next door to be called the Trumbull Energy Center.

Having Monday’s informational meeting is one requirement in a lengthy application procedure, said Matt Butler, Ohio Power Citing Board spokesman. The process also includes phases in which the OPCB investigates the application, sends out public notices, has a public hearing, has an adjudication hearing and issues a decision.

The Ohio EPA regulates the greenhouse gases the plant will emit, and the company will have to get an EPA permit indicating the greenhouse gases are acceptable, Butler said.

Siderewicz said the emissions the 180-foot stacks will force skyward are similar to the emissions from a gas furnace in someone’s home.

Gas-fired power plants produce half as much carbon dioxide, also known as greenhouse gas, as coal-powered plants, he said.

Siderewicz noted that Lordstown has been “the center of the Cleveland-Pittsburgh electricity market” for a number of years by virtue of the FirstEnergy power lines that travel nearby the industrial park and the Goldner residents.

Those power lines are one of the big reasons Clean Energy Future chose that site, he said.

It’s a little early to address questions to the Ohio Power Citing Board specifically about the second Clean Energy Future project because the company has not submitted its application, but the board can answer general questions at 866-270-6772, Butler said.

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