Improved Natural Gas Utility Service is Key to Ashtabula County’s Future Economic Development

It is not uncommon for rural areas like Ashtabula County to experience challenges in providing the basic electric, gas, water, sewer, and Internet capacity services required to expand existing companies and attract new ones. Overall, Ashtabula County is well positioned for industrial development. While meeting the natural gas requirements of small to medium-sized industrial users is usually not problematic in the county, fulfilling the needs of large industrial users is a challenge. Ashtabula County is one of the few locations in Northeast Ohio that has the land supply, interstate highway and water port transportation services, electric power, and water capacity required to serve the needs of very large industrial users. To remain competitive in the large industrial development market in the future, Ashtabula County must increase its natural gas supply in the future. That requires planning and strategic investment.

Despite the increased natural gas drilling in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, Ashtabula County falls short at this point in time in providing large quantities of natural gas to accommodate the growth of new large industrial users. The Growth Partnership is working with its development partners and current and potential new natural gas suppliers to address this issue to ensure adequate capacity exists to serve these larger industrial users in the future.

Who can help? For one, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is an important resource in providing the needed solution. How can the PUCO help? Click on this link to download a presentation by Sara Zeigler from the PUCO on the agency’s economic development services.

This is a short introductory article on strengthening natural gas services for local economic development in Ashtabula County. Watch for additional posts on this topic in the future.

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