The Press Newspaper
After encountering no opposition at two hearings held by the Ohio Power Siting Board, developers of a proposed natural gas-fired electric power plant in the City of Oregon will see how a draft permit issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency covering air emissions is received by the public.
An informational session to explain the permit and receive public comment is scheduled for May 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Erie Center, 6200 BayShore Rd., Oregon.
If the permit is approved, it would mean the final regulatory hurdle has been cleared for the construction of an 800-megawatt gas turbine facility on a 30-acre parcel near the corner of North Lallendorf Road and York Street.
During Wednesday’s session, staff from Ohio EPA and Toledo Division of Environmental Services will present information about the draft permit and answer questions.
The public can submit comments for the record regarding the permit.
According to the EPA, the facility would emit nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic chemicals, sulfuric acid mist, greenhouse gases and particulate matter but at levels allowed by the federal Clean Air Act.
The EPA and environmental services division will accept written comments on the draft permit through May 13. Anyone may submit comments or request to be on the mailing list for information. The permit process includes taking public comments into consideration before deciding whether to issue or deny the final permit.
The application and other related materials are available for review at TDES by calling 419-936-3015. The draft permit also is available online.
William Martin, a managing partner of North America Project Development, LLC, testified during a hearing last month before the siting board that the plant will fill a need by offsetting a large portion of the more than 6 gigawatts of capacity scheduled to go offline in 2015 due to federal environmental regulations.
During the hearing, Martin testified that more than 2.5 gigawatts of capacity of the 6 gigawatts set to go offline are in the service territory of First Energy.
“This project is an 800-megawatt project and it’s also located in the First Energy service territory,” he said. “It does offset a large portion of the 2 ½ gigawatts of capacity that are scheduled to go offline which goes a long way towards ensuring reliability and price stability in the service territory.”
He said the project would create about 500 construction-related jobs and operation of the plant would create about 25 full-time jobs.
Although Oregon Clean Energy, a subsidiary of North America Project Development, has been targeting the summer of 2016 for the plant to begin operating, Martin told the siting board the start date may be pushed back by several months.
He said the start-up date is contingent on the results of a feasibility facility study by PJM, the regional transmission organization responsible for coordinating the movement of wholesale electricity over all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.
Martin testified he met with PJM the day before in Pennsylvania.
“I think that (study) process will lead us to the fall of 2016 or, perhaps, even a spring of 2017 start date,” he said.
The siting board staff has recommended the developer’s application for a certificate of public need and environmental compatibility be approved.
A board hearing held April 2 in Oregon City Council chambers drew support from city officials, business groups, and labor representatives. No one spoke in opposition to the plant.
Martin’s company was the original developer of a 700-megawatt generating plant in Fremont, O. where the company partnered with Calpine.
William Siderewicz, a partner in Oregon Clean Energy, was an executive with Calpine at the time.
After the Fremont plant was sold, Martin said he and Siderewicz began analyzing the electrical market in Ohio, focusing on the northwest corner of the state.
Martin said the Oregon site was the only one that met all of the company’s criteria.