Lawmaker: razing of Lyonsdale biomass plant is ‘disheartening’

wwny Lawmaker: razing of Lyonsdale biomass plant is ‘disheartening’

LYONSDALE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The biomass plant in Lyonsdale, owned by ReEnergy, is being demolished. State Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush says it's a shame.

Two years ago, the plant closed and Blankenbush was asked to help biomass energy get back onto state funding.

Biomass, which is essentially the burning of wood and other organic material for energy, was no longer being subsidized, but wind and solar energy was.

“Biomass is green energy and for the state not to recognize that, it’s really putting them in a disadvantage trying to go in competition with the wind and solar,” said Blankenbush (R. - 117th District).

So when the budget rolled around this year, Blankenbush persuaded his colleagues to subsidize biomass again.

“We allowed that bill to go through even though some of the members really didn’t want that to go through. They did me a favor by that and now all of a sudden, I hear that the plant is closing. It’s really disheartening,” he said.

The property is expected to switch hands to the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency by this fall. The executive director of the IDA, Eric Virkler, says ReEnergy will be helping him find a company to replace it and they’re both hoping it can be another biofuel business.

“We’ve reached out to our local wood industry logging companies, so whatever could use our natural resources on that site, we’ll focus on those for sure,” said Virkler.

Blankenbush says he’s holding out hope that his efforts aren’t for nothing.

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