Siemens again on board for 2nd power plant in Lordstown

LORDSTOWN — A company that until recently was headed by a Valley native has once again joined the team planning to develop a second energy center in the village along Henn Parkway.

Siemens Corp., which until recently was headed by Mahoning Valley native and Poland Seminary High School graduate Eric A. Spiegel, will provide financing for the Trumbull Energy Center. The company is already involved in the $900 million Lordstown Energy Center now under construction at the Lordstown Industrial Park east of Route 45.

Developer Bill Siderewicz, president of Clean Energy Future, said financing for the new facility, referred to as TEC, will be finalized by the end of the year with ground scheduled to be broken in January 2018.

Siderewicz said he does not expect Spiegel’s recent retirement announcement to impact either project. Spiegel, who has fostered local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) educational opportunities, announced in late November plans to retire as CEO of Siemens USA at the end of 2016.

“Siemens Corp. has been, and continues to be, an outstanding partner to Clean Energy Future (CEF) in its focus on the development, construction and operation of new, high efficiency, low-cost, gas fired electricity generation in Ohio,” Siderewicz stated.

Siemens Energy previously worked with Siderewicz on other projects, providing primary generation equipment for similar plants in Fremont and Oregon, Ohio. But with the Lordstown Energy Center, or LEC, Siemens expanded its involvement to include financing, building and management services.

For TEC, Siemens Energy and Siemens Financial Services are part of a team that includes Fluor Corp., a global engineering construction company, and international bank BNP Paribas. TEC is expected to be operational by by May 2020. The center’s wholesale output will be adequate to meet the electricity needs of about 850,000 Ohio homes, according to information provided by Clean Energy. The company said the center will have a “life-time (40-year) positive impact on the Valley and Ohio, measured at about $14 billion.”

The developer said TEC will help offset the loss of local electricity production from retired coal-fired plants, including those in Niles and Ashtabula. Clean Energy also noted that as construction for one facility is “ramping down,” activity for its twin will be “ramping up,” providing another 2 1/2 years of steady employment for hundreds of area construction workers.

Clean Energy broke ground for the LEC in June. Siderewicz has estimated that the natural 940 megawatt, gas-fueled power plant will provide $13.8 billion to the area over 40 years. The project provides employment for hundreds of local workers assisting with the construction.

The high-efficiency technology used will provide clean power to 800,000 homes. It takes natural gas to spin a turbine and generate the power into electricity. It will flow into lines operated by American Transmission System, a FirstEnergy Company.

The initial phase will generate more electricity than the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant near Toledo.

More details about TEC are expected to be released today.