Officials tout benefits for Valley of $1.2B energy center

Trumbull Energy Center, the more than $1.2 billion electric generation facility under construction in Lordstown, will utilize “the latest state-of-the art technology” to produce a “very clean, efficient electricity, reliable electricity” for the region, a top executive with the company building the power plant said.

“I think that is important as we stand here today and talk about trying to develop and trying to attract new business (to the area),” Steve Remillard, chief operating officer for Trumbull Asset Management of Mars, Pa., said. “We need stable and reliable low-cost electricity for the region.”

Remillard gave an update on the facility and its economic benefits to the region Thursday in Howland for the Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber.

The 950-megawatt facility south of state Route 45 near Henn Parkway — near the already operating Lordstown Energy Center, a nearly identical facility — will connect with FirstEnergy high-voltage power lines in Lordstown to flow electricity northwest toward Cleveland and southeast toward Pittsburgh.

“We selected the site because it’s a great opportunity to reinforce the electric system,” Remillard said of the high-voltage circuit between the two large population centers.

“The area is great for industrial development. It’s consistent with the land use that is there. We have great transportation, rail access and access to low-cost gas,” he said.

The site is 122 acres, but the plant “will actually be about 25 acres,” Remillard said. Foundation work is happening now to prepare the site for the large pieces of equipment that include gas turbines from Germany, the generators, which are made in the U.S., and the boilers from South Korea.

Construction should be complete in November 2025, with the plant making power in January 2026.

The plant will provide an average of 400 construction jobs and peak at 600 during its building. From construction through its 40 years of operation, it’s estimated to generate about $1.8 billion in economic activity.

The project secured funding in November, but getting to that point was a long road filled with obstacles, including nearly two years of litigation involving property rights, the pandemic and arguing over a water supplier.

Also, the project needed approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is a part of the U.S. Treasury that reviews certain transactions involving foreign investment in the U.S. to determine their effect on national security.

Now, there is another dispute between Lordstown and TEC. The village filed a complaint July with the Ohio Power Siting Board asking the regulatory agency to suspend a permit it granted in October 2017 to build, operate and maintain the plant.

Among Lordstown’s allegations is the facility does not comply with permit conditions over zoning. The plant has disputed the claims.

The village also objected to a request by the center to change the permit to allow for two temporary areas to store vehicles and equipment when they are not in use.

Siting board staff, however, recommended changing the permit for the laydown yards, plus other design adjustments, but not without conditions.

The siting board has not ruled on the July complaint.

A dispute last year involved the village’s objection to another request by the center to change the permit to give the developer more time to start construction.

The siting ultimately granted the one-year extension.

Also Wednesday, Remillard presented the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber Foundation with $10,000 to help with economic development efforts in the region, and Trumbull County Commissioner Denny Malloy gave an update on the county.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today