Taylor Biomass gets final approval

By Anna Simet | May 14, 2012

Taylor Biomass Energy LLC has cleared its last hurdle to the construction of a 21 MW biomass gasification plant in Montgomery, N.Y.

The Montgomery town board gave the project the green light on May 10, approving phase three of the project’s site plan, thus allowing the company to begin major construction. Jim Taylor Jr., president and CEO, said construction will commence June 15, though site work and preliminary construction began in December 2010. It was halted, however, when the project encountered several daunting challenges.

One of those challenges was almost losing a $100 million U.S. DOE Loan Guarantee.  In August 2010, Taylor was notified that the project would receive the loan guarantee pending a due diligence review. Six months later, a House bill proposed to rescind $25 billion in unobligated funds from the program, and by that time, Taylor had already invested millions into the project. Luckily, the loan guarantee program ended up surviving the budget agreement.

Another challenge Taylor faced was securing a long-term feedstock contract. The initial supplier wanted to include an escape clause in the 20-year contract, so an agreement could not be reached. But Taylor was able to secure an agreement with the city of Newburgh, N.Y.

Taylor Biomass also successfully appealed a Supreme Court judge’s decision to invalidate the project's permits and approvals late last year.

The company has a vast amount of experience in waste recycling, as Taylor Biomass Energy is a spin-off of Taylor Recycling, a firm that was hired by New York City for a recovery project after the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001. The company set up and operated two mobile plants to process more than 500,000 tons of debris in nine months.  Taylor Biomass was the first construction and demolition debris processing company in the U.S.

The Montgomery plant will be co-located with Taylor Recycling Facility and will expand the recycling facility’s capability to accept wood waste and construction and demolition (C&D) debris, as well as municipal solid waste (MSW). The biomass plant will deploy a unique, indirectly heated gasification process developed by Mark Paisley, Taylor Biomass Energy’s chief technology officer. Paisley has been involved in gasification research for nearly 40 years.

Electricity produced at the plant will be enough to power 23,000 private residences. It is also expected to have $384.4 million economic impact, and provide 82 permanent jobs and 318 temporary construction jobs over the next 18 months.

 “There have been many steps to bring us to this point; many years of work,” Taylor said. “I am grateful to the scores of people who have stood by us, and stood up for us, as we have worked through this process. And I’m grateful to the town of Montgomery for helping us bring this project on line in our home town. Its time has come. It is time to stop wasting our waste and Taylor Biomass Energy knows just how to do that.”


Taylor said the company plans to begin startup and commissioning by August 2013, reaching full-time operation by December.