Mediation resolves dispute over 2nd Lordstown power plant

By Ed Runyan


Six months of mediation in a 2017 lawsuit has resolved a dispute between the owners of the Lordstown Energy Center in Lordstown Industrial Park and the developer of a proposed second $900 million power plant next door.

The agreement, worked out with the help of Magistrate Anthony Cornicelli of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, will help facilitate the construction of a second power plant in the village.

Bill Siderewicz, president of Boston-based Clean Energy Future, developer of both natural-gas-fired plants, said Friday he is concerned, however, about remarks from Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder and Gov. Mike DeWine that the public “should bail out two antiquated nuclear plants to the tune of $100 million [per] year.”

He said that move “would endanger the current, very free power-generation market in Ohio that would allow Trumbull to proceed.”

Siderewicz called Householder’s and DeWine’s comments possible “roadblocks,” and it would “throw a proverbial monkey wrench in Ohio’s private investment electricity-generation market,” of which the Trumbull Energy Center would be part.

Siderewicz has said in the past the two Lords-town plants would each employ about 19 permanent workers and about 900 people during construction.

The first plant began operation last October after about 21/2 years of construction.

Siderewicz and his company filed the lawsuit on behalf of the proposed second plant, known as the Trumbull Energy Center, in September 2017 asking Judge Peter Kontos to enforce the agreements the owners of the first plant signed to allow the second plant to be built.

The owners of the first plant, known as the Lords-town Energy Center, said they were holding off on deciding whether to allow the second plant’s construction until they had time to study the impact the second plant would have on the first plant.

Judge Kontos ruled in late 2017 that the owners of the first plant must sign an agreement related to the industrial park necessary for the second plant to proceed. An appeal of that ruling is pending.

The document the owners of the first plant were not willing to sign was a change to the industrial park’s restrictions, which the parties in the park approved earlier to allow the first power plant to be built.

Judge Kontos ordered the parties into mediation with Cornicelli last September.

The Ohio Power Siting Board in Columbus on Oct. 4, 2017, gave permission for the second plant to be constructed.

The first plant generates 800 megawatts of electricity, while the second one is expected to produce 940 megawatts, according to documents associated with the siting board.

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