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Lordstown Energy Center named a ‘Top Plant’

LORDSTOWN — Lordstown Energy Center is among six natural gas-fired power plants in the U.S. and abroad named a top performer in the electric generating industry.

The “Top Plant” award is from industry magazine POWER Mag, which has been in circulation since 1882, the same year Thomas Edison opened the first central power station in lower Manhattan.

It was announced in the magazine’s October edition.

“To me, I think it’s a really important way to recognize people who are doing good at power plants wherever they may be,” said Aaron Larson, POWER Mag executive editor. “We recognize plants around the world. Some is due to the technology being used at the plant, some is due to the operation and maintenance staff and what they are doing that might be innovative and unique. Some of it could be what they are doing in the community. Sometimes they are doing a lot of things that are beneficial to the region and to the people of the local community.”

The 940-megawatt plant on Henn Parkway opened in October 2018. Costing about $900 million to build, it contains two gas turbines and one steam turbine powerful enough to supply power to 850,000 homes and businesses in the Midwest.

Plant operator Clean Energy Future is a subsidiary of Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III and its partners, Siemens Financial Services, which manufactured the turbines, and Clean Energy Future LLC.

It took about two years to build and provided about 900 construction jobs through the process. It’s estimated the plant will generate about $13 billion in economic impact over the next 40 years.

“Lordstown is an interesting site because it has a good location. It’s got a lot of good technology; it’s proven technology that has been successful and is very efficient,” Larson said. “It’s a new plant that is utilizing digital advancements. It just has a lot of good things going for it.”

The plant has been a good community partner, too.

It donated $1 million for a new track and soccer facility at Lordstown High School and gave Lordstown Local Schools $1.5 million during the plant’s construction. In addition, it has an agreement to give the district millions over the next 15 years in exchange for it being given a 100 percent tax abatement.

In addition, it donated $15,000 in January to a local grassroots effort to save the idled General Motors plant in Lordstown.

The other “Top Plant” winners in the gas-fired category were Lackawanna Energy Center, Pennsylvania; Greensville County Power Station, Virginia; Alpine Power Plant, Michigan; Shenzhen Power Station, China; and WUN Pellets GmbH, a biogas fuel plant in Germany.

They were decided by POWER Mag editors based on nominations to the magazine, which has about 65,000 subscribers for print and digital platforms.

“Our readership is our people who are in the power industry who are working at plants. So they know what the lessons learned from a project are, what they can utilize perhaps at their facility, what unique equipment or new technology is being implemented at some of these facilities that maybe they could look into and incorporate into their own operations,” Larson said.

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