Economic Development

$900M in Financing Secured for Carroll Energy Plant

CARROLLTON, Ohio – Advanced Power AG, an international energy corporation based in Switzerland, says it has secured financing to move forward with its nearly $900 million Carroll County Energy project.

The company’s plan to build a natural-gas fueled electrical plant here was first announced in July 2013 (READ STORY).

Advanced Power, the Switzerland-based parent company of Carroll County Energy LLC , said Tuesday that it has closed on $899 million in project financing with its partners. These partners include TIAA-CREF, Chubu Electric Power Co., Ullico and Prudential Capital Group, which provided $411 million in equity commitments, and PNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and eight other commercial banks that will provide $488 million in secured credit agreements for construction.

The plant, to be built 2.5 miles north of Carrollton and a half-mile east of state Route 9, will be a 700-megwatt combined-cycle natural gas electric generating plant that sells energy, capacity and ancillary services to the PJM market, the company said. PJM is a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electrical in all or parts of 13 states.

The project is near natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays as well as American Electric Power (AEP) transmission lines and Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline system. This strategic location is an important competitive advantage of Carroll County Energy, the company said.

Carroll County is the largest natural-gas producing county in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The plant will feature two GE 7F.05 gas turbines and a D602 steam turbine that have the capacity to generate electricity for approximately 750,000 homes. Bechtel is building the project under a turnkey construction contract. EthosEnergy will operate the plant and Advanced Power will remain as the construction and asset manager.

Approximately 700 construction jobs will be created during peak construction as well as 20 to 30 permanent jobs when the plant begins operations. In addition to economic, socioeconomic and environmental benefits, the project will provide critical electric generation capacity in a region that has experienced several plants retired because they have reached the end of their useful lives, the company said.

The project should be completed by the end of 2017, says project manager Jonathan Winslow.

“We are pleased for the Carroll County community at large and Carrollton schools as we move forward with this project and begin to contribute to the local economy, employment and energy picture,” Winslow said in a statement. “Site work has begun and we remain on track to put Carroll County Energy online by the end of 2017.” 

“The project has received strong support from Carroll County and other key stakeholders in Ohio,” said Advanced Power CEO Thomas Spang. “From the beginning, it was the project’s goal to work closely with the community and to bring in the strongest partners in the industry. This milestone demonstrates the success of that strategy.”

Carroll County Energy is one of several projects Advanced Power is developing in the United States and Europe.

Executives from TIAA-CREF, a New York-based Fortune 100 financial services organization, issued prepared statements praising the company’s decision to finance the project.

“We are pleased to take part in another significant energy project as part of our growing relationship with Advanced Power,” said Marietta Moshiashvili, managing director and head of natural resources and infrastructure originations at TIAA-CREF.

“As we pursue a steady, diversified stream of returns on behalf of our investors, this project represents exactly the type of opportunity our dedicated energy infrastructure team actively seeks out,” said Mario Maselli, senior director within the energy and infrastructure investments team at TIAA-CREF. “A strong management team, consistent long term returns and a positive economic impact are important criteria in our investment decision making process.”

Pictured: Carroll County Energy’s rendering of the $900 million plant it proposes to build.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.