Hickory Run Power Station Begins Generating Electricity

NORTH BEAVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Hickory Run Power Station began commercial operations May 18 after nearly three years of construction. The $863 million power plant, developed by Tyr Energy, generates 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

“We’ve been going pretty steadily. It’s in the market and producing electricity much of the time. This is an efficient unit. So we expect it to stay operational most of the time,” says Brock Shealy, vice president of Hickory Run LLC and chief administrative officer of Tyr Energy. “Hickory Run itself has state-of-the-art emission controls, so it’s something that’s going to be looked at as an important part of energy production for PJM.”

Among the equipment at the power plant are two Siemens gas-powered turbine generators and a steam turbine generator as well as two heat recovery steam generators. The plant, just off state Route 551, gets its water supply from the New Castle Sanitation Authority. The water is injected into the turbines to reduce emissions.

“The project made significant investments in protecting and improving the water quality of the Mahoning River,” Shealy says. “It reclaims treated municipal wastewater from New Castle Sanitation Authority. It reuses that water and can enhance the downstream environment.”

Hickory Run buys its water from the municipal agency, providing the sanitation authority an extra revenue stream that can be reinvested into its facilities, Shealy adds.

Construction jobs at the plant totaled about 500. Now that it’s operating, it employs 23 full-time.

The plant began to sell its electricity to the PJM Interconnection energy grid June 1. The system serves customers in 13 states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as the District of Columbia.

Partnering with Kansas-based Tyr to invest in the project were Siemens and Kansai Electrical Power Co. Hickory Run is Tyr’s first greenfield plant in the United States.

“We are pleased to have collaborated with two world class partners, [lead engineering and construction contractor] Kiewit Power and Siemens, to bring this important energy infrastructure project to completion,” said Garrick Venteicher, Tyr Energy’s president and CEO, in a statement announcing the start of Hickory Run’s operation.

“I can’t say enough about the support we received from Lawrence County and the local community, the CEO added. “The highly skilled workforce from the surrounding area has been outstanding. We look forward to building on these relationships in the years ahead.”

Pictured at top: The $863 million Hickory Run Power Station in Lawrence County, Pa., began commercial operations May 18. It employs 23 full-time workers.