LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The official groundbreaking ceremony of the Lordstown Energy Center at Henn Parkway was held early Monday afternoon.
Some work has already started on the facility, but Monday was about acknowledging everyone who has helped get the project up and running.
The $890 million facility will use the latest, high-efficiency technology to provide clean power to 800,000 homes. The idea is to take natural gas, use it to spin a turbine and generate that power into electricity. The plant will be capable of making 940 megawatts of electricity.
Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said he is excited for the plant’s completion, mostly because of the impact that he says it will have on the economy.
“Everybody knows with this plant coming it’ll stabilize the school’s finances,” he said. “Nobody wants to pay more taxes. They know this is going to help stabilize that. It’s going to bring jobs. It’s going to bring revenue to the village.”
The Lordstown Energy Center is expected to be completed in June of 2018. The plant is expected to provide 20 full-time positions.
“The construction workers that are here are all local. 95 percent are local, and it’ll stay that way,” said Don Crane of the Building Trades Council.
Everyone who’s on a machine or running a machine is local. The 500 workers will pay a 1 percent income tax to Lordstown during the construction.
“I’m going to say around $500,000 for two years they plan on having this up and running,” Hill said.
He said that’s roughly 10 percent of the village budget. He envisions improving sewers among other things.
Warren and Niles will benefit by providing water to cool the big spinning turbine. And on site, the workers are making roughly $30 per hour.
“The people working … are making money that they can deposit in local banks, buy cars from local car dealerships, send their kids to YSU or Eastern Gateway. They can live and survive and be productive citizens of the family and then live until the next project comes up,” Crane said.
Workers representing 14 crafts will be involved with the Lordstown Energy Center.
“They’re estimating on this project alone over the next 40 years it’s going to pump $18 billion into local economy, and that’s not just Lordstown but the entire Mahoning Valley,” Hill said.
The Energy Center will not pay property taxes for the first 15 years once it’s built, but the schools will still get over $20 million from the plant over the next 15 years.