Site Work Begins for Second Power Plant in Lordstown

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – Trees are cleared and site preparation is now underway for construction of the Trumbull Energy Center, a $1.2 billion combined-cycle electrical generation plant planned along Tod Avenue.

“It will take three years to complete construction,” said Bill Siderewicz, president and CEO of Clean Energy Future LLC, the project’s developer.

As part of the site prep work, contractors are conducting subsurface tests to confirm soil strength at the 127-acre site, Siderewicz said. 

Once the proper tests are completed, survey work would begin to determine the placements of hundreds of concrete pilings that will be needed for the project. By February, excavation of the piling holes should begin, he said.

On Nov. 3, Trumbull Energy Center closed on $1.2 billion in financing to begin the project. The following day, the Trumbull County Auditor’s website reported that the project purchased the land for $10 million.

Two Korean entities, Korea Southern Power Co. Ltd, or KOSPO, and Kind, an acronym for Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Corp., are the new plant’s majority owners, Siderewicz said. Siemens Energy is also a co-owner in the project.

The new power plant would have the capacity to provide electricity to 900,000 homes.

Gemma Power Systems LLC of Glastonbury, Conn., is the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor. The company has leased office space at the former American Way Manufacturing building on Henn Parkway, just off Tod Avenue.

Mayor Arno Hill said the company is moving forward and is putting the finishing touches on its site plan it will present to Village Council.

“We’ll look at their plans to make sure the setbacks are OK, and that the ingress and egress to the site are OK,” Hill said. “So we’re just waiting for that.”

Hill said there is no firm date on when steel construction of the plant would begin.

The new plant will mirror the existing Lordstown Energy Center, which was commissioned in October 2018. Trumbull Energy Center will be built on contiguous land just south of the Lordstown center.

Martin Loney, president of the Western Reserve Construction and Building Trades, said the Trumbull Energy Center is likely the largest single project for the local crafts in 2023.

“We should be sitting down with Gemma within the next six weeks or so,” he said. “So it’s looking good.”

Siderewicz had said earlier that the project would require approximately 1,000 members of the local building trades. 

The Trumbull Energy Center is designed as a combined-cycle electric generation plant that is fed by natural gas instead of coal.

Trumbull County commissioners have awarded a tax abatement of 100% for the project. In lieu of those taxes, Clean Energy Future will make an $800,000 initial payment to Lordstown village schools and annual payments to the school system during the 15 years of the abatement, and to the village, which also will share income taxes with the school system.

The project, first announced in late 2016, has been met with one obstacle after another over the past five years. Litigation issues, financing and political infighting over who would supply water threatened to derail the project.

Plans for a third combined-cycle plant were scuttled in August 2019 after the passage of Ohio House Bill 6, which awarded subsidies to FirstEnergy to preserve two Ohio nuclear power plants.

However, the General Assembly subsequently repealed portions of the bill, including the nuclear subsidies, after Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and other associates were arrested because they allegedly were paid tens of millions of dollars to help pass the legislation and to prevent the issue from moving to a referendum.

Pictured at top: Site preparation is underway for construction of the Trumbull Energy Center. In the background is the Lordstown Energy Center.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.