Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — An environmental firm has a plan to convert food waste, fats and grease into electricity in the Town of Wheatfield.
Sustainable BioElectric, LLC is seeking a 15-year, payment-in-lieu-of-
agreement with the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency. The company, which is owned by Ohio companies Forest City Sustainable Resources, LLC and Quasar Energy Group, has purchased land on Liberty Drive where it plans to build a new plant.
The parent companies already own eight such plants in Ohio and Massachusetts where various wastes are processed into electricity and then sold back into the grid.
Anthony Cieslak, a financial analyst for Quasar Energy Group, presented the company’s plans to the NCIDA’s board during a meeting on Wednesday. He said the company hopes to break ground at its Wheatfield site in the next month or two.
“Our renewable energy company is different than solar and wind in that we are paid to take the waste,” Cieslak said.
Cieslak said the company is negotiating to get 4 to 6 cents per kilowatt hour in New York. The company gets 3 cents in Ohio but 14 cents in Massachusetts.
“There is definitely a lot of fluctuation in this electricity world,” Cieslak said.
The Wheatfield plant would be the company’s first in New York. Not only would the company get more money for the energy it puts to the grid here than it does in Ohio, but it would also get more money per ton for the waste it collects, Cieslak said.
“We are a waste management company first,” he added.
The company would also make money by selling off the byproduct of the energy extraction process, Cieslak said.
“Everything that goes in — there’s a reduction during the biological process — but about 93 to 95 percent of that will come out and it’s all liquid fertilizer that will be sprayed onto fields,” Cieslak said.
The NCIDA board voted to schedule a public hearing on the company’s request for a PILOT. Chairman Henry Sloma said he’s glad to see a company with a “green” focus moving into the county.
“As green energy is a targeted industry cluster for our agency we have another project that, if approved, we can market and promote to other entrepreneurs in this emerging sector,” Sloma said.