The proposed Frederick, MD waste-to-energy facility is expected to cost Frederick County $140.7 million over the next 30 years, significantly lower than previous estimates, according to a consultant's study. The study, conducted by the Municipal and Financial Services Group, said the reduction from an initial estimate of $331 million, is due to updating a previous model with current market conditions, including interest rates, energy prices and the consumer price index. Frederick County Commissioners President Jan Gardner said the new study reaffirms the board's commitment to building the waste-to-energy plant because it will generate electricity. "Under all realistic scenarios, waste-to-energy would be less expensive than long-hauling," said David A. Hyder, a senior manager at the Municipal and Financial Services Group. Permits are expected to be issued for the waste-to-energy facility in January 2012. If they are, groundbreaking is expected for June 2012, with the plant becoming operational in spring 2015.