Union Township, Clermont County Ohio (May 18, 2021) – On Wednesday, May 12, the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce hosted Vistra and a number of local community leaders for a roundtable discussion on the operations of the Zimmer Power Plant in Clermont County.
In attendance were Clermont County Chamber of Commerce Director of Government Affairs Andrew McAfee, Clermont County Commissioner David Painter, Chairman Dennis Cooper of the Washington Township Board of Trustees, Mayor Tim Suter from the Village of Moscow, New Richmond Exempted Village School District Superintendent Tracey Miller, Legislative Aide for Rep. Adam Bird Adam Headlee, Field Representative for Congressman Brad Wenstrup Anthony Spaetzel, and from Vistra: Plant Manager Chris Osterbrink, Director of Community Affairs Brad Watson and Senior Environmental Services Manager Desiree Loveless.
In 2020, Vistra announced it would not operate the Zimmer Power Plant beyond the end of 2027 due to costly US EPA coal ash regulations. Zimmer, like most coal plants, is also challenged financially by wholesale power market forces that make profitability difficult. Originally built as a nuclear power plant in the 1970s, Zimmer has been a fixture in Southern Clermont County for decades. Employing over 150 employees, the Plant has been a driving economic force in Washington Township, the Village of Moscow, and the local school districts.
During the presentation, Watson said Vistra is working hard to operate Zimmer through 2027 but cautioned it could close sooner if economic, legal or regulatory factors dictate. On a positive note, he said Vistra continues to evaluate Zimmer and all of its Ohio plant sites for potential renewable energy development, such as utility scale battery storage.
Watson and his colleagues also answered questions regarding the environmental impact of plant operations and the need to stay competitive in the ever-changing energy market.
“I’m so thankful for the partnership with the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce that has allowed us to communicate with key community, government and business leaders on the current status of the plant and what to expect moving forward” Watson commented.
Clermont County Commissioner David Painter commented, “I’m really thankful Vistra has committed themselves to working with the County, Township, and Village to ensure everyone is kept updated and at the table. Having spent decades in the energy market, I know the importance of meetings like this and how valuable it is for us to work together on the decommissioning of this plant.” Clermont Chamber Director of Government Affairs Andrew McAfee commented, “This meeting demonstrates the strength of our partnerships with Vistra Energy and our community leaders. I’m so thankful for Vistra’s continued support of our Chamber mission and their dedication to keep our community informed on such an important issue.”