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By Daniel Hall | August 14, 2023

The Frontier Group of Companies (FGC) successfully imploded the remaining stacks and steam boilers at the former American Electric Power (AEP) plant in Conesville on Saturday. This marks the completion of a series of activities aimed at repurposing the site over the past three years.

Units 1 and 2 were the first to generate power at the coal power plant, starting in 1957 and 1959 respectively. Unit 3 joined them in 1962. The three units were accompanied by two 500-foot stacks that were recognizable landmarks for the community.

Demolition work began in December 2021, with the first three stacks being imploded, followed by the demolition of Boiler 4 in November. The power plant ceased operations in May 2020 after 62 years. FGC announced plans for the cleanup and transformation of the site into the Conesville Industrial Park in August of that year.

With Saturday’s implosion, FGC is now focused on developing the new Conesville Industrial Park, which spans 2,500 acres and is a significant industrial megasite in Southeast Ohio.

The original units were built in Conesville due to the abundance and accessibility of coal and water in the area. Units 1 and 2 were revolutionary at the time, using a cyclone-fired system that allowed for efficient combustion of coal grades not suitable for pulverized coal combustion. Units 1 and 2 generated 125 megawatts of power, while Unit 3 generated 165 megawatts. Unit 1 and 2 were retired in 2005, and Unit 3 in 2012.

FGC has been collaborating with local and state officials to attract industries to the Conesville Industrial Park. Prospective businesses from various sectors, including manufacturing, automotive, energy generation, energy storage, data centers, and logistics, have been visiting the site.

The implosion event served as a reminder of the progress made by FGC in preparing over 500 acres of industrial real estate for future employers. David Franjoine, CEO of FGC, expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing development and the emergence of multiple potential sites where the power plant once stood.

The demolition at Conesville has generated interest nationwide due to the advantageous location of the site and its available resources, including an abundant labor pool. It is projected to attract private investments worth nearly $2 billion and create over 2,000 jobs in the next decade.