VAN WERT COUNTY, OH — Ohio legislators learned about power reliability concerns during a tour of the natural gas peaking plant, the Robert P. Mone Generating Station, in Convoy, Ohio, with Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives and Buckeye Power on September 29.
Legislators present on the tour included Rep. Angela King, Rep. Tim Barhorst, Rep. Roy Klopfenstein, Sen. Rob McColley, and Nicole Giesige, District Representative for Congressman Latta. CEOs and board members from five Ohio electric cooperatives – Paulding Putnam (Paulding), Midwest Electric (St Marys), Tricounty REC (Malinta), Logan County Electric (Bellefontaine), and Hancock-Wood Electric (North Baltimore) – as well members of Ohio's Electric Cooperatives' Government Affairs team, joined the tour.
The Van Wert County Mone facility is a 510-megawatt natural gas peaking plant operated by Buckeye Power. It is vital a electricity generation asset in maintaining reliable electric service to Ohio’s electric cooperatives during the highest periods of demand. The plant is considered a “peaking” facility because it is utilized during peak times of demand – like on extremely hot summer or extremely cold winter days – to keep up with power needs. The plant’s three gas-fired General Electric turbine engines can be up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Tour groups were able to step inside the generation houses and see up close the technology that is used to stabilize the local grid during times of high energy usage. Attendees learned that the availability of consistent baseload power from fossil fuel power plants is crucial for maintaining a stable energy supply to the local communities co-ops serve. Renewable sources like wind and solar are intermittent and weather-dependent, though still utilized by Buckeye Power as part of their “all of the above” energy approach.
Plant members shared research on energy storage solutions but cited many limitations and cost prohibitions. Plant personnel pride themselves on the advancements that have been made to the plant to ensure reduced emissions.
This plant is just one generation resource in Buckeye Power’s portfolio, outfitted with best-in-class environmental controls. Included in the portfolio are also coal, solar, hydropower, biomass, and other renewable energy generation.