Trumbull Energy Center, Lordstown, Ohio

Siting Board Opens Door for Trumbull Energy Center

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – The Ohio Power Siting Board on Thursday approved measures that would allow for the construction of a $1.2 billion combined-cycle power plant in the village.

The board approved Clean Energy Future-Trumbull LLC’s application for a certificate of public need and environmental compatibility. The board also approved its application for a second amendment to the certification.

The project, known as the Trumbull Energy Center, has stirred opposition from within the village over the past two years.

In July, the village filed a complaint before the power siting board requesting it suspend work on the gas-fueled electrical plant because of noncompliance.

The complaint was dismissed with prejudice after the board found “that there are no reasonable grounds to initiate a staff investigation pursuant to allegations raised by the Village of Lordstown in its complaint.”

Lordstown attorney Matthew Ries filed a complaint before the board July 24. The village says the company is in violation of a certificate it was issued in 2017, and has requested the board to order work at the site to stop until the project comes into compliance with Lordstown’s site plan review process and zoning permit process.

At issue are the provisions in Trumbull Energy Center’s work certificate, which was granted on the basis that a portion of the site – a 34.7-acre parcel – is zoned for industrial purposes and the surrounding areas share similar zoning, the complaint said. The village contends that these acres are zoned residential. Also, property to the south and east are also zoned residential, documents say.

A request by Trumbull Energy to rezone the parcel from residential to industrial was rejected by Village Council in June after residents living near the project voiced concerns.

Other violations that Ries points to in the filing include the company’s failing to provide detailed engineering drawings of the final project designed prior to construction, operating within a 75-foot wetland buffer, engaging in construction activity outside proscribed hours and that the company “does not appear to have an environmental consultant onsite,” as the certificate requires.

Lordstown’s complaint also cites that the project encroaches on wetlands in violation of its certificate.

In 2022, village residents and officials voiced concerns over the project’s intention to purchase water from the city of Warren, contending the development would lead to higher water rates. However, in July 2022 the village Board of Public Affairs and Village Council ultimately approved a service agreement with Warren.

Trumbull Energy Center was first announced in 2017 and developed by Boston-based Clean Energy Future. Clean Energy also developed the Lordstown Energy Center, which operates on contiguous land at the Lordstown Industrial Park.

Clean Energy has since sold its entire position in the Trumbull project to a consortium of equity investors that includes Korea Southern Power Co., Siemens Energy Power Development & Investments and Korea Overseas Infrastructure Urban & Development Corp.

The deal was closed in November 2022, and site work began earlier this year. The project is expected to employ nearly 1,000 tradesmen during the plant’s construction phase.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.