It’s official: Lordstown will get second energy plant

LORDSTOWN — Now that Clean Energy Future has secured the village’s preliminary nod of approval for a second power plant along Henn Parkway, the company plans to apply for the permits needed to build the $900 million project.

Bill Siderewicz, president of Clean Energy Future LLC, on Wednesday made official the company’s proposal to develop the Trumbull Energy Center (TEC). He and Mayor Arno Hill were joined by local officials and Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber leaders during the announcement at the Lordstown Administration Building.

Siderewicz, who is also the developer of the Lordstown Energy Center (LEC), said his team is looking to submit permit applications to the Ohio Siting Board and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency by the end of the month. Next, he and Lordstown officials will begin negotiating a tax abatement plan.

Hill noted it’s the same path the village and Siderewicz followed when discussing the LEC that is now under construction at the Lordstown Industrial Park east of state Route 45. The talks also will include Lordstown school officials, Hill said.

“There’s still a process that we have to go through. We’ll sit down and talk, just as we did with the first one,” Hill said. “If something needs tweaking, we’ll tweak it. But this is something the village is on board with and sees as positive for this community.”

Boston-based Clean Energy broke ground for the LEC, also a $900 million project, in June. Siderewicz has described the two projects as “twin” facilities, with each designed to do the same job, put out the same amount of energy and meet the needs of some 850,000 Ohio homes.

Each project is projected to have a lifetime, or 40-plus year, positive impact on the Valley and Ohio, measured around $14 billion, Siderewicz said. Additionally, each construction project calls for hundreds of workers — who could be starting the second project as they are finishing the first one — to complete it.

The one difference could be the ownership, Siderewicz said.

“But that’s yet to be determined,” he said.

Siderewicz said the team on board for the TEC development includes Siemens Energy, which will provide equipment, Fluor Corp., a global engineering construction company, Paris-based BNP Paribas bank, which has U.S. offices, and Siemens Financial Services, a subsidiary of Siemens Corp.

With Clean Energy as a minority owner, the majority equity owners of the LEC are Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III, U.S. Energy Holdings and Siemens Financial Services. Mahoning Valley native and Poland Seminary High School graduate Eric A. Spiegel served as CEO of Siemens USA, but announced plans to retire at the end of 2016.

Siemens previously worked with Siderewicz on other projects, providing primary generation equipment for similar plants in Fremont and Oregon, Ohio, also the site of twin energy centers. With the LEC, Siemens expanded its involvement to include financing, building and management services.

Siderewicz said he expects financing for the new facility to be finalized by the end of the year, and “if all goes as planned,” ground should be broken in January 2018 and TEC could be operational by by May 2020.

Ground for the LEC was broken in April and construction is scheduled to be completed by June 2018.

Terry Armstrong, superintendent of Lordstown Schools, said the second facility “will provide long-term budget stability in the face of declining state Tangible Personal Property (TPP) reimbursement revenue” for the district.

“Lordstown Local Schools is greatly appreciative of the opportunities the Lordstown Energy Center is providing the school district and the potential of a second center could not be timed better,” Armstrong said. “The financial impact of the agreement for the first facility was a game-changer for the immediate future of Lordstown Local Schools. The first agreement also provided funds to demolish a school building that has been closed for over five years and to build a soccer/track complex at Lordstown Schools, promising our student-athletes an exciting future.”

Clean Energy already is gifting Lordstown schools new soccer and track fields. The district received $500,000 at groundbreaking of the first plant and will obtain another $500,000 this year.