NILES Study to look at need for new power plant

The city will participate in the two-year study at a cost of $3,800 per month.
NILES -- In an effort to plan far ahead, city officials are willing to participate in a two-year study for a possible new power plant.
American Municipal Power-Ohio Inc., which provides electricity for Niles and several other communities throughout Ohio and in West Virginia, plans to perform a feasibility study to see whether a new power plant is necessary and, if it is, where it should go.
As a participating community in AMP-Ohio's customer base, Niles can help pay for the study, allowing for the chance to utilize any new plant, explained Light Superintendent Jim Newbrough.
"The participating communities will share the cost," Newbrough told council at a recent meeting. "It is simply an engineering and feasibility study."
Newbrough said the city's share of costs for the two-year study will be about $3,800 per month. The amount is proportionate to the estimated amount of power the city would use from the new plant.
Throughout the duration of the study, representatives from AMP-Ohio will update city officials on its status. And before any construction would begin, the city will be asked if it wishes to participate, Newbrough said.
But that decision, he added, is still some time away.
"It will be 2005 before we even think about building anything," he said.
The study will address technical, siting, fuel choice, permitting and economic aspects of a new power plant. The plan is to use a new facility to provide an "economic, environmentally sound and reliable source of long-term power," according to legislation approved by council.
Under the agreement, city officials have sole discretion on whether to participate in any project proposed at the completion of the study.