Deal to build $1.3 billion power plant in Yellow Creek Twp. finalized

WELLSVILLE — Three-and-a-half years of discussion about a proposed power plant coming to southern Columbiana County became reality last week, and Yellow Creek Township Trustees are expressing their gratitude over the matter.

At the start of Tuesday’s meeting, Trustee Chairman Kenny Biacco talked about the financial closing that took place one week ago on the 1,182 megawatt natural gas electric power plant, which plans call for its location off Hibbetts Mill Road — a $1.3 billion construction project.

Advanced Power, of which South Field is a subsidiary, will co-own the plant along with an investor group which includes the Bechtel Development Co., which will serve as the engineers and contractors for the project. Construction is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2021.

Biacco told those in attendance the township first received a call three-plus years ago from project manager Zac Gordon, who advised Biacco of Advanced Power’s interest in coming to Columbiana County.

“(Gordon) told me about the power plant, and that he’d like to have lunch with us,” Biacco said. “Debbie (Lyle, fiscal officer), myself, Mark (Allison, trustee), Glenn (McKenzie, trustee), we all went to lunch with him, and he explained to us what the plans were. He was pretty strong, and all of us felt that there’s a possibility that this could happen.”

He mentioned that since that time, Gordon and assistant project manager Collin Brown have been in discussions with the township over progress of the plant.

“When this first started, they said between 500 and 600, now the paperwork he sent me is up to 1,000 people for the construction work,” said Biacco, who also talked about Gordon’s discussions on the Carroll County Energy plant, located north of Carrollton and also owned by Advanced Power.

“Myself, Glenn, Mark, we took the trip to Carrollton and talked to the trustees down there and they told us that these people mean business, and they did,” Biacco said.

The trustees also publicly thanked Advanced Power, Lyle, Allison and McKenzie for continuing talks with the company, with Biacco saying they worked “as a team.”

As part of the agreement made last year with Advanced Power, Yellow Creek Township will receive $1.6 million within 10 days of the closing. Once abatement starts, by potentially 2022, the township will receive $250,000 annually for the next 15 years.

srappach@reviewonline.com

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