Suit holds back second energy plant

Company claims other breached several agreements

LORDSTOWN –The fate of a second natural gas-fired power plant in Lordstown remains unclear as a lawsuit between the companies involved continues to unfold.

The projects are a venture of Clean Energy Future, LLC, which William Siderewicz heads, and Clean Energy Future Lordstown. The Macquarie Group is the lead owner of Clean Energy Future Lordstown with around 70 percent ownership, according to court documents, while Siemens Financial Services Inc. owns 26 percent and Clean Energy Future owns 4 percent.

Clean Energy Future, LLC, which already has the $900 million Lordstown Energy Center under construction on Henn Parkway that was given a green-light by the Ohio Power Siting Board in 2015, received construction approval in October from the board for a twin power plant dubbed the Trumbull Energy Center slated for construction adjacent to the first plant. The second plant is also expected to cost around $900 million to construct, putting the total project investment around $1.8 billion.

On Thursday, Clean Energy Future Lordstown filed a motion to enforce a sealed settlement agreement the parties reached after mediation. The parties will be submitting memoranda by Aug. 17 concerning the motion.

Siderewicz, sole head of Clean Energy Future, claims Clean Energy Future Lordstown has breached several agreements it made with CEF. In a complaint filed in September, CEF says CEF-L did not honor its obligations under an option agreement that required CEF-L to reasonably assist CEF in its efforts to construct a natural gas-fired power plant. CEF also claims CEF-L violated the agreement by failing to sign an addendum to the Lordstown Industrial Park’s rules to allow CEF to build within the park.

CEF is seeking to require CEF-L’s signing of the option agreement, which includes the industrial park addendum. The company is also asking for at least $10 million in damages attributable, in part, to a delay in financing the construction of the plant and additional design, land and construction costs if a new site must be selected.

Messages were left seeking comment with Scott North, attorney for Clean Energy Future Lordstown.

CEF says failure to construct its facility would result in the loss of approximately 800 local union construction jobs, as well as local tax revenue and the ripple effect the plant could have on the local economy.