A draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Laidlaw Energy Group power plant conversion project will be aired in a public hearing at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Holiday Valley Clubhouse Chalet on Holiday Valley Road.
Laidlaw is a New York City firm seeking town Planning Board approval for a site plan and special-use permit to reopen a former natural gas-burning cogeneration plant at 6662 Route 219 North near Route 242.
Laidlaw also is seeking permission from Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. to boost the plant's generating capacity from 4 megawatts to 7 megawatts. It also wants to convert the plant from a natural gas-powered facility to a wood waste-to-energy plant. The wood-chip fuel would be burned and power wood-drying kilns on the site.
Air emissions for the plant are governed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which has given Laidlaw incentive financing -- a $1 million grant -- to develop an alternative energy source.
Questions from community residents and the Planning Board led to revisions in the plans, which now show a 50-foot-high boiler house set 15 feet below ground level in an existing structure and a 70-foot exhaust stack lowered to a height of 52.5 feet. The company now proposes storing a 10-day supply of wood chips inside an existing building on the site instead of piling a 30-day supply outside.
The impact statement also contains project alternatives and is on view from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Ellicottville Town Hall, 1 W. Washington St., and Ellicottville Memorial Library, 1 Washington St.
Deadline for written comments is Oct. 17. Those can be sent to the Planning Board at the Town Hall, P.O. Box 600, Ellicottville, NY 14731.