ELLERY - Work is under way to add new engines to the county's methane-to-electric power plant.
Four engines are already up and running at the plant, with two more on order and expected to be installed by July 1.
County Executive Greg Edwards held a news conference at the Ellery site Monday morning to highlight the start of the construction.
"We had three goals with regard to this landfill gas to energy utilization project," Edwards said. "The first was to comply with all of the applicable environmental and safety regulations pertaining to the landfill itself and also to the ... project.
"The second," Edwards continued, "is to maximize the utilization of the landfill gas that's actually produced by the landfill. And the third one is to provide revenue to the county, non-tax revenue."
The coming two engines will take the plant to its intended capacity, Edwards explained. The plan for the plant has always been to be a six-engine facility. Had the county gone straight to six engines though, there would have been no profit from the gas in 2010.
By starting with the four engines first, the county was able to generate revenue while planning for the additional two-engine expansion.
Two additional engines allow the county to process the gas it's currently losing. The electricity from that gas can then be sold for a profit, like the electricity currently being generated by the other four engines.
Each engine will add 1.6 megawatts to the plant. The fifth engine will make the plant an 8-megawatt plant, while the sixth will take it to a 9.6-megawatt plant.