WELLSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – A subsidiary of Boston-based energy company Advanced Energy wants to spend $1 billion to build a new natural gas power plant in Columbiana County.
South Field Energy’s project will employ 550 construction jobs over the next three years and 30 permanent well-paying jobs after the plant is built.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency representative Cory Kurjian opened a public meeting on Thursday by explaining the project to 50 people who attended.
A group of South Field employees sat in the back, hoping the EPA would eventually grant the necessary permits so they can begin construction early next year.
It will be located in a rural part of the county, a quarter of a mile from the Buckeye Water Treatment Plant off of Route 45.
“The project here that was recently a draft permit is the South Field Energy turbine electric generating station,” Kurjian said.
Out of several big numbers and scientific terms thrown around at the meeting, one stood out: when the plant is running, it will provide enough electricity to power a million households.
Five people spoke up, and all were in favor of the project.
“This type of generation is the cleanest and most efficient that we have going right now,” said State Representative Joe Schiavoni.
Commissioner Tim Weigle said it would benefit southern Columbiana County, specifically Yellow Creek Township, Madison Township and the Village of Wellsville.
“We, as a community, will be given an opportunity to have an economic shot in the arm by welcoming them into our community,” said Wellsville Board of Education member Nancy Francis.
Yellow Creek Township Trustee Kenny Biacco said that concerns about heavy traffic on the roads as a result of the project have been addressed and will be taken care of.
“We want to be a part of this community and that really drives us every day,” said Zac Gordon with South Field Energy.
Before the meeting, an EPA official said they saw no problems with South Field’s proposals, so it shouldn’t be long before the power plant is built.