Administrators of the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District expect the planned steam generator project at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station to have a financial impact on the district but say it’s too early to know how much.
FirstEnergy management, citing a study by Applied Economics, a Phoenix-based consulting firm, said the project will provide a boost of more than $108 million to the local economy and overall benefits statewide will exceed $150 million.
The $600 million project to install two new steam generators and the subsequent refueling will require about 2,300 additional local union and traveling contractor workers besides Davis-Besse’s regular workforce, the utility company said.
Outage workers began arriving to prepare for the project last fall but the peak number is expected this month and next, according to FirstEnergy, which estimates wages for on-site temporary workers to reach $147 million.
The financial benefit to the B-C-S district can’t be quantified at this time, said Tim Coffman, district treasurer.
“The work they are performing could affect both real estate property values and personal property value,” he said. “Real estate property values are set by the Ottawa County auditor and the values at the Davis-Besse site have not changed. Personal property tax values are set by the Ohio Department of Taxation based on tax values filed by FirstEnergy.”
During the current calendar year, B-C-S schools are receiving real estate taxes based on 2013 valuations. Personal property tax revenues are based on 2012 valuations.
Coffman said FirstEnergy dropped an appeal in September the company had filed with the Ottawa County Board of Revision to have the valuation of property at the power station lowered by about $22 million.
At the time, a drop in valuation of $22 million would have cost the school district about $210,000 annually in tax revenue, Coffman said.
Ray Lieb, Davis-Besse Site Vice President, described the installation of the two 470-ton generators as “one of the largest projects to occur at Davis-Besse since construction of the facility.”
“The effort requires much more equipment, supplies and manpower than a regular refueling,” he said.
About 1,000 union workers from Carpenters Local 744, Boilermakers Local 85, Laborers Local 480 and Electricians Local 8 will be hired for the project, he said.
The economic impact study estimates the project will provide about $2.1 million in benefits to Ottawa County as workers from outside the area stay in local hotels and patronize restaurants and retail outlets.
The generators were delivered in October via a transport ship across Lake Erie to the Port of Toledo. From there they were transported by train to Davis-Besse.
Each component is 74 feet in length and 12 feet in diameter.
The generators function as heat exchangers, producing heated steam used to drive the plant’s turbine generator, ultimately producing electricity.
They were fabricated at an Ontario, Canada facility owned by the Babcock and Wilcox Co.