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Ohio


Ohio moves another step toward natural gas and away from coal
Plant in SW Ohio is latest in gas boom, but coal is still kind in Ohio
Story by LEWIS WALLACE


 
Fracking wells have changed the utility landscape in Ohio.
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Plans for a new natural gas-fired power plant have been announced in southwest Ohio. The plant would employ 300 to 400 people for about three years of construction, and a few dozen when it is operational in 2018. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports the plant in Middletown is part of a statewide trend towards natural gas—and away from coal.

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From November 2012 to 2013, energy generated from natural gas in Ohio increased 16 percent. That’s partly because natural gas prices have become competitive with Appalachian coal.

This past July, an $800 million natural gas generator was announced in Carroll County in eastern Ohio, and now NTE Energy says it will put $500 million into the Middletown project.

Tim Eves is with NTE Energy.

“With the new gas that’s available on the market and some of the pricing on that gas, and the cleanliness of burning it, it’s a very attractive fuel for current generation.”

Burning natural gas puts out a much lower volume of greenhouse gases than coal. But it’s remained controversial because the natural gas boom is powered by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

And Ohio’s still a coal state at its core: more than three-quarters of the energy generated here comes from coal-fired plants.

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