Coal-Fired Power Plant to Close, City Committed to Reimagine Public Lakefront Space
06/09/2021 – Avon Lake Cites “Once-in-a-Lifetime” Development Opportunity with Razing of Rarely Used Plant
Today, the City of Avon Lake is announcing the plans to close the Avon Lake Generating Station. The plan is subject to a 90-day review by the market regulator, PJM. While this plant has been part of the City for almost 100 years, its closure will allow the City to work in partnership with GenOn Holdings, Inc. its current owner, and its successor to redevelop the 40-acre plant site sitting on Lake Erie, along with acreage south of Lake Road. The coal-fired power plant, which operates fewer than 50 days per year, will close and the successor to GenOn intends to remediate and demolish the site over the next two to three years. The City is committed to the site being repurposed for public access and recreational use that contributes to the future of our City and citizens.
“We’re excited about this remarkable opportunity for a transformative redevelopment for Avon Lake,” said Mayor Gregory Zilka. “This project will open up a prime 40-acre site on Lake Erie to the public, while also allowing us to take a giant step forward in cleaning up our environment and improving the quality of life for everyone in our community.”
The transfer of the plant site will likely close this fall, and the transferee will take on all environmental obligations for the plant site. The city will be applying for federal brownfield grants and other resources to help with the clean-up and redevelopment. Avon Lake residents will see little to no impact on energy availability or what they pay for energy. The Avon Lake plant was operating only at peak usage times, such as the hottest days that bring the highest demand for air conditioning.
About 55 employees still working at the power plant will be impacted by the shutdown. We understand that GenOn is providing customary benefits in a situation like this.
“We know this will be a challenging time for them, and the City will work with our partners at Ohio Means Jobs Lorain County to aid in their transition," said Mayor Zilka.
The city anticipates the loss of property tax revenue from the plant, however, any short-term impact on our homeowners, businesses and schools will be lessened by the new housing and business development that continues to and is currently occurring throughout our City. In addition, not far down the road, the gains from redeveloping 40 acres of prime real estate will be significant.
“The innovative skills of our partners combined with our determination to take advantage of suddenly gaining a half-mile of lakefront land equal a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Mayor Zilka. “We plan to take advantage of it.”