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County BZA Approves Variance for Zimmerman Energy

November 13, 2013

11/14/13 A new energy company will be using waste to make electricity in Marshall County.

Representatives of Zimmerman Energy came before the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals to seek a variance of use for property at the corner of Michigan Road (old U.S. 31) and S.R. 110. The property is directly across the road from the landfill located in Fulton County. Jay Hopper and Michael Laframboise of Zimmerman along with local engineer Mike Strang told board members that the facility will use gas from the landfill to make electricity.

The property is currently a soy bean field. A building will be constructed on the site that will house four Caterpillar electric generators that will be used to produce the electricity. A conduit will be constructed to hook into the landfill across the street and push the gases generated there to the plant.

The process will take the methane and other gases produced by decomposition in the solid waste in the landfill and use it to produce electricity. That electricity will then be bought by NIPSCO and Wabash Power companies who have already offered to purchase power from the plant.

Since 2008 landfills have been required to burn off these gases by what is called a flare. The new plant will make use of current structures and gravity to “push” the gases to the generators across the road to produce electricity. Any excess gas will be burned off in the manner that it currently is.

The company says that there is enough gas produced to keep the plant operating twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Estimates are that enough power can be produced each week to provide electricity for 6000 homes across the area.

The county’s technical review committee gave a favorable recommendation for the plant if they would; provide a drainage plan, obtain a septic permit, take proper action for noise mitigation and receive construction design approval from the state of Indiana.

The BZA voted unanimously to approve the variance with the stipulation the company comply with the concerns of the technical review committee.

Provided by Rusty Nixon

2 Responses to “ County BZA Approves Variance for Zimmerman Energy ”

  1. Thor on November 14, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Seems like a good common sense solution. Probably even a profitable one.

    And the federal government didn’t even have to offer the money up.

  2. AnnF on November 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    What a wonderful way to recycle waste into energy. I think this is a win-win for all those involved.