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Energy Retrofits Spark Work for Electrical Contractors

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The flurry of developments across the Mahoning and Shenango valleys has proven a boon for electrical contractors in the area.

In Ohio, work has begun on the first of two gas-fired power plants in Lordstown, a power plant in Wellsville is in development and another one in Carrollton nears completion. Across the state line, the Shell ethane cracker plant in Monaca is in the midst of site preparation.

“The contracts there are already spoken for, as far as the bulk of the main ones,” says Eric Carlson, vice president of Joe Dickey Electric, of the four projects. “There could be other packages coming as it continues to develop. We have started seeing some bidding opportunities for support companies or things ancillary to these bids, which is positive to see.”

Smaller projects are also underway. Dickey is doing work on the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Youngstown, the expansion of the FedEx center in North Jackson and at FreshMark in Salem.

New Castle-based Bruce and Merrilees Electric Co. has finished projects at FirstEnergy’s Bruce Mansfield plant in Monaca, Pa., and UPMC Jameson.

At Santon Electric, current projects include the University Edge complex and Barnes & Noble at Youngstown State University.

At all three companies, electricians cite similar reasons for the uptick in work. For local businesses, the economic recovery has encouraged expansions and on residential projects, homeowners once again have the confidence and funds to improve or expand their homes. With the flurry of companies moving into the region, Bruce and Merrilees Vice President Justin Bruce points to the infrastructure in the area as a driving factor as well as the low cost of power.

“It’s kept us competitive on a national level of attracting new businesses,” Bruce says, noting that also means more potential work for electricians.

Business outside the area is also picking up. Bruce and Merrilees has worked on projects across Ohio, Pennsylvania, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.... [full article here]

Copyright 2017 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.