A Florida company is planning to purchase 20 acres of land west of Celina to construct a manure digester.
Optional Energy Partners has an optional purchase agreement for the land at 5150 state Route 29 West – site of the former Garden Emporium. Company owner Andy Tangeman said plans are for the digester to be located on the back half (southern portion) of the property.
On Thursday, Celina City Council members passed first reading of an ordinance to purchase electricity from the plant. A motion to suspend the rules to allow the legislation to be passed as an emergency measure failed, as council members Ed Jeffries and Mike Sovinski both voted no, saying they want city administration to finalize the energy rate schedule.
Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan told council members there is no upfront cost to the city. It will only be required to buy all of the electricity from the plant – expected to be 1 megawatt hour.
According to the tentative rate schedule, the city would pay as much as $100 a megawatt as long as 100 percent of the manure used to produce the electricity is taken from the Grand Lake St. Marys Watershed – a provision intended to help reduce phosphorous loading that leads to degraded water in Grand Lake. The price would drop to as low as $60 a megawatt if the company uses 60 percent or less manure from the watershed.