Developer scrubs plans for 3rd power plant after nuke bailout
By Ed Runyan
Clean Energy Future is canceling plans to build a third gas-fired power plant in Lordstown, the company announced Tuesday.
“This decision is based on the July 2019 passage” by the Ohio General Assembly of House Bill 6, Bill Siderewicz, president of CEF, said in a news release.
The third plant would have cost $1.1 billion, Siderewicz said. Clean Energy Future has already spent more than $1 million in development and permitting costs.
No third plant means the loss of 1,100 new local union construction jobs, 2.6 million man hours of union construction labor over 34 months, and $150 million in water purchases from Youngstown, Siderewicz said.
He said a third plant would have produced additional full-time jobs and local supplies and services. It would have generated $300 million in local property, salary and income taxes.
Over its 50-year life, it would have produced $29 billion of economic benefit, Siderewicz said. It was supposed to begin construction in 2020.
Siderewicz provided The Vindicator with a June 11, 2019, letter from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency addressed to him confirming that it had received Siderewicz’s application for a permit to operate a gas-fired plant called the “Meander Energy Center,” which would be an air-pollution source.
Though that is early in the permitting process, Siderewicz said he had “every intention of going ahead full bore” on the plant, which would have been built on one of three identified Lordstown sites.
Clean Energy Future owns about 200 acres in and near the Lordstown Industrial Park, but a plant like this requires only 20, Siderewicz said.
Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 6 into law in late July, hours after lawmakers approved the legislation, which gives $150 million a year to nuclear power plants near Cleveland and Toledo.
Tony DiTomasso Jr., secretary/treasurer of the Western Reserve Building Trades Council, said the organization supports all forms of energy generation because its members work in all of the types, including nuclear power plants.
State Rep. Gil Blair, D-63rd of Mineral Ridge, who was the first person to make public remarks about the possible third power plant about a month ago, said Siderewicz’s announcement is “certainly not good news, but it also represents the reason I voted no on Senate Bill 6.”
Lordstown is in Blair’s district.
Only one member of the Mahoning Valley’s legislatative delegation voted in favor of Senate Bill 6 – state Rep. Don Manning, R-59th of New Middletown.
The first Clean Energy Future plant in Lordstown, known as the Lordstown Energy Center, is in operation in Lordstown Industrial Park on Henn Parkway off state Route 45.
The second plant, to be known as the Trumbull Energy Center, is scheduled for construction to begin this December next door, Siderewicz told The Vindicator.
State Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-32nd of Bazetta said Siderewicz testified during the debate over House Bill 6 and said at that time the bill could eliminate a power plant in Lordstown.