Quasar Energy Facility, a company interested in building a bio-mass energy plant on Liberty Drive in Wheatfield gave a presentation to the Wheatfield Town Board on Monday.
"This project is in the early stages. It still has to go through the full Planning Board review as well as the Fire Advisory Board review. It will likely have to have one or more variances approved by the ZBA, height for example. So there is a long way to go," Supervisor Bob Cliffe said, noting that the company also plans to seek IDA tax incentives.
Alan Johnson, an engineer for Quasar, which has two facilities in Ohio, stated that this plant works much as a large cow's stomach does. In the stomach of the plant you can put almost anything, which will produce methane gas as it is "digested," he said. This methane is collected in a bladder and used to run a generator, which produces sufficient electricity to run 600 to 700 homes. The waste product becomes a fertilizer that can be used by farmers for a substantially reduced price from current fertilizers.
Questions from board members and from the floor were answered by Johnson and Kristen Savard of Advanced Design. Several had to do with noise and with smell. The company has a system in place that eliminates any odors given off by the system, and noise is minimal, Johnson said.
If the project goes forward, the company expects to provide approximately 18 jobs, with two people working in the plant each day, plus six to eight truck visits per day.
"The project will take materials which were destined for a landfill and turn them into electricity and fertilizer. Although it is very early in the vetting process, it certainly seems like a viable project and a plus for Wheatfield and Niagara County," Cliffe said.
In other matters:
•The board approved the purchase of two servers at a cost of $13,832.20 for the town's computer system.
•The board authorized spending $1,700 for Advanced Design to do architectural consulting for the Wheatfield Town Center designs.
•The board's next meeting will be on May 21. It will be preceded by an informational meeting at 7 p.m. on the town's annual storm water report and a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. on proposed amendments to the zoning chapter of town code.