An updated economic impact study has found that the Davis-Besse steam generator replacement outage is going to bring in more money to the local area than expected. In the beginning of January, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company did an economic impact study that predicted $12.5 million would be added to our local economy. On Jan. 27, FirstEnergy released new numbers stating that more than $108 million, with overall economic benefits expected to exceed $150 million statewide, according to an economic study recently completed by Phoenix-based consulting firm Applied Economics.
The $600 million steam generator replacement project and the refueling are expected to employ as many as 2300 additional local union and traveling contractor workers in addition to Davis-Besse’s regular workforce. Outage workers began arriving in preparation for the project last fall, with the peak number of workers expected in February and March. Among the more than 1000 local union craft that will assist with the outage are workers from Carpenters Local 744, Boilermakers Local 85, Ironworkers Local 55, Laborers Local 480 and Electricians Local 8.
Economic benefits to the area
The economic impact study estimates a local benefit of more than $2.1 million to the Ottawa County area. Out of town workers stay in area hotels, eat in local restaurants and frequent are stores. An additional $38 million is expected to be spent on local goods and services from the area to support the outage, including building and office supplies and other construction services.
How the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Visitor’s Bureau is helping
“With the large number of employees at Davis-Besse, the plants always has been a significant contributor to the economy of Ottawa County, even more so in years that include out of town contractors,” said Larry Fletcher, executive director of the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Visitor’s Bureau in Port Clinton. “We welcome these out of town workers and are committed to providing assistance during their stay and look forward to showing them the warm hospitality and many top rate services our area has to offer.”
One of the ways the visitor’s bureau is providing assistance is by helping out of town contractors locate lodging in the area. The lodging locator service, which was activated in January, has received a steady stream of calls and many hotels and rental properties in the area are fully booked for the next several months as a result. Additionally, some area restaurants have extended their hours to meet the round the clock needs of outage workers.