Cleveland Incinerator

Cleveland fires waste-to-energy consultant for faulty financial analyses

CLEVELAND — “After receiving several drafts of reports laden with errors and ambiguous calculations, the City of Cleveland has fired the consultant responsible for designing a proposed trash-to-electricity plant.

…In February, the city made public a letter to Peter Tien, declaring him and his company to be in default of an agreement with the city to provide services necessary for the initial design and permitting of the proposed waste-to-energy plant. The letter cited delays, deficiencies and discrepancies in a draft design memorandum and gave Tien 10 days to correct them.

In the most recent letter, Withers points out that Tien’s analyses consistently estimate that the plant will bring the city more than $40 million in annual revenue –though numbers on which that calculation is based change from draft to draft.

In one version posted online by the environmental group Ohio Citizen Action, Tien projects the city would make $132,000 a day from the sale of electricity. In a later draft, that figure was changed to $15,840.

Tien’s reports never explain how he arrived at the city’s estimated revenue. And a simple calculation of the numbers provided in his latest draft shows that figure at about $34.5 million.”

— Leila Atassi, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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