Youngstown Thermal Named Test Site for $75M Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown Thermal’s steam plant at 205 North Ave. has been selected as the full-scale test site for the “Advanced Ultra-SuperCritical Component” project being developed by Energy Industries of Ohio and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The selection of the test site was announced Thursday by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-9 Ohio. It’s part of a $75 million project to develop advanced-energy manufacturing technology.

The U.S. Advanced UltraSuperCritical coal technology project focuses on additive manufacturing processes to produce materials with the potential to reduce carbon emissions by one-third. Energy Industries of Ohio, a Cleveland nonprofit, is leading a consortium of universities, think tanks and companies such as Babcock & Wilcox.

“After many years of development by the consortium led by EIO for new high temperature/pressure materials needed for Advanced UltraSuperCritical AUSC conditions, we have been notified by the U.S. Department of Energy that our proposed last-lap activities for technology commercialization was selected for funding,” said the president of Energy Industries of Ohio, Bob Purgert, in a statement.

“The project has been able to locate a suitable [full-scale test] site at the former Ohio Edison plant, which is now the Youngstown Thermal District heating site. We will be building additional infrastructure to accommodate the test and we plan to install the first AUSC turbine on site,” he said. “This is very positive news not only for moving the technology forward but for sub-tier opportunities for Ohio’s manufacturing industries. The need for castings from Ohio’s foundries, forgings and fabrication of products along with job training for skills needed to weld and install the equipment will directly benefit Ohio workers. The timeliness of the test could not be more critical in view of the proposed Clean Power Plan.”

Energy Industries of Ohio is working with the Ohio Coal Development Office on the test project at Youngstown Thermal.

Carl Avers, CEO of Youngstown Thermal, tells The Business Journal, “We have been working on this project for over one year and we could not be more excited. It is another major project like America Makes and the Youngstown Business Incubator for downtown Youngstown.”

According to Avers, the prototype “will take 130,000 pounds of steam per hour. For reference, YSU only uses 20,000 pounds per hour.”

Energy Industries of Ohio describes its mission as “to develop, demonstrate, and incubate technologies that will improve the competitiveness of Ohio industry through increased energy efficiency, reduced operating costs and improved environmental performance.”

In addition to cleaner-coal technology, the U.S. Advanced UltraSuperCritical project includes developing applications for nuclear power plants.

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