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Ohio Clears 800 MW NatGas-Fired Power Plant For Construction

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) has authorized a Boston-based electricity wholesale company to construct an 800 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Northeast Ohio that would utilize Marcellus and Utica shale gas.

Clean Energy Future LLC proposed the facility early last year (see Daily GPIApril 17, 2014). Despite several other natural gas-fired power plant proposals for the region, the facility would be the first of its kind constructed in Northeast Ohio. The OPSB approved the plant to be built on a 17-acre parcel in an industrial park in Lordstown, about 16 miles northwest of Youngstown.

Clean Energy, which has developed similar facilities from Maine to California, including others in Northwest Ohio and Pennsylvania, chose the site for its proximity to shale gas fields and an electricity corridor with power lines that connect Cleveland, OH, and Pittsburgh, PA, two major markets in the region. The facility and its transmission infrastructure would interconnect to the American Transmission Systems Inc. bulk transmission system.

The OPSB, a division of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that reviews energy infrastructure, capacity and transmission in the state, said Clean Energy plans to begin construction later this year. The facility is expected to be operational by May 2018, OPSB said.

The plant was originally slated for construction on a 57-acre lot in Lordstown, but the village council voted against rezoning that area in May and instead authorized construction at the industrial park (see Daily GPIMay 28). A 15-year property tax abatement was also approved for the 17-acre site.

Clean Energy plans to spend more than $850 million on the project, which is expected to create 1,026 jobs during construction and another 25-30 jobs once the facility is operational. The plant would be able to provide enough power for 500,000 homes. 

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