by Dennis Dalman
A Sartell resident, John Taylor, has been honored as a leader in the nation’s largest integrated hot-water energy system that put St. Paul at the forefront of environmentally sound heating and cooling systems.
Taylor, who is currently serving as board chair for Ever-Green Energy, recently received the George Latimer Leadership Award. Latimer, a former St. Paul mayor, is credited with forming the public-private partnership that led to formation of the cutting-edge energy systems in St. Paul.
In 1982, Latimer chose Taylor to replace him as chair of District Energy St. Paul. That company, along with District Cooling, is a parent company of the for-profit Ever-Green Energy, which is now celebrating its 15th anniversary.
The St. Paul-based integrated energy systems have won international acclaim for their state-of-the-art approaches to cooling and heating systems. Basically, Energy-Green designs systems that heat a multitude of buildings (such as colleges, hospitals, office complexes) by pumping hot water from a central source through underground pipes. The water is recirculated back to the source for reheating and re-use. A similar system cools buildings in warm weather.
Born in St. Paul, Taylor is a graduate of St. John’s University, Collegeville, for which he serves as associate vice president of institutional advancement. In 1982, Mayor Latimer asked Taylor to join the just-formed District Energy board of directors. He served on the District Energy and District Cooling boards for 18 years, including several years as board chair. In 2000, Taylor began his service on the board of Ever-Green Energy and became its chair in 2006.
“We’ve had really great leaders both at District Energy and – more recently – Ever-Green Energy,” Taylor said. “Just outstanding leadership.”
Taylor and his colleagues played a huge role in developing stable cooling systems that are vital for data centers, such as at universities and some businesses.
“John (Taylor) has provided consistent, unwavering leadership, support and counsel over the last three decades and instigated major strategic accomplishments,” said William Mahlum, a key player in development of District Energy St. Paul.
Thanks to development pioneered by District Energy and District Cooling, Ever-Green Energy technologies are now being applied in places throughout North America, including integrated heating and cooling projects in Burlington and Montpelier, Vt.; Ottawa, Canada; the Honolulu, Hawaii Seawater Air Conditioning Project and, closer to home, the North Loop Project in Hennepin County and the South Loop Project in Bloomington.
Some of Ever-Green’s projects involved advanced technologies, such as solar heating, bio-mass fuels, deep-water cooling and thermal storage. The company has been recognized throughout the world for its giant strides in energy efficiency and reduction of carbon-based fuels for heating and cooling. Ever-Green has won dozens of prestigious awards, including the Environmental Initiative Award in 2005 from the Minnesota Environmental Initiative and a Presidential Citation from President George W. Bush in 2001.