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Silver Award - $2.51-$5 Million Project - Associated General Contractors of TN

Location: Vonore, Tenn.
Size: 12,800 sq. ft.
Complete: October 2011
Owner: Genera Biomass, LLC

Biomass Innovation Park

J&S Construction completed construction of the Biomass Innovation Park for Genera Biomass, LLC. Tennessee’s Biomass Innovation Park, operated by Genera Energy and located in Vonore, Tenn, is a 22-acre, one-of-a-kind campus which will integrate and optimize the entire biomass supply chain. Using the design-build approach to construction, J&S Construction worked closely with Genera in helping them design the facilities, site plans and helping meet their budget and schedule. 

The park was designed to accommodate future expansion and introduce new technologies and equipment for processing biomass to meet the specifications of biorefineries and other downstream conversion processes. The campus serves as the foundation for all biomass feedstock used to create biofuels, biochemicals, bioproducts, biomaterials, biopower and bioenergy.

“The Biomass Innovation Park will be a first-of-kind research, development and demonstration campus for the purpose of researching and optimizing receiving, storage, handling, pre-processing, transportation, and characterization of switchgrass and other types of biomass at commercial scale," said Dr. Kelly Tiller, President and CEO of Genera Energy. "Our goal is to demonstrate and improve the integrated biomass supply chain, between the farm gate and the biorefinery gate. We believe the Biomass Innovation Park is a key step toward producing cellulosic biofuels competitively and sustainably and will be a foundation for developing a robust cellulosic biofuels industry in Tennessee and beyond."

The campus features a 6,400 square-foot office building, a 7,500 square-foot building for switchgrass bale storage, an 1,800 square-foot building for on-site equipment maintenance and storage, a 3,500 square-foot process building for conversion process demonstration, as well as associated site improvements. There are also two large storage silos and a large switchgrass reclaiming pit for receiving field chopped material as well as on-site open storage for bales of switchgrass and several switchgrass demonstration plots.

The park was funded by a combination of state and federal funds and requires a set cost. Therefore, Genera Energy chose J&S Construction because of its skills in the design-build method of construction to complete this project.