Imari Scarbrough Staff Writer
November 12, 2013
Work is steadily being completed to bring GrowGreen Power, a power company committed to providing fresh food and renewable energy, to Anson County.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $4,050,000. Both the county and the town of Wadesboro voted to each provide $150,000 of that over a period of two years. GrowGreen has committed to $750,000, and the remaining funds are being applied for.
Both of the necessary public hearings to apply for CDBG (Community Block Development Grant) funding have been completed as of the last Wadesboro town meeting on Nov. 4. At that meeting, the board heard the second public hearing before voting to apply for $1 million in CDBG Economic Development funding and approved the town’s engineers, LKC engineering, to begin surveying, engineering design, and administration of the project. It will likely be a couple of months before the pre-application for the CDBG is completed, said economic development director Mary Beck.
If granted, the CDBG money will be used to provide water and sewer improvements to serve GrowGreen. Just the necessary million-gallon water tank is over $2.4 million of the total cost, according to Beck. GrowGreen will ultimately provide a large amount of green energy. “The construction of a power plant, which will produce ‘green renewable energy’ and enable GrowGreen to manufacture and deliver power to the grid and sub-station, will in turn provide electricity and heating for homes and schools and businesses is in itself a unique and distinctive project,” Beck said at one of the town public hearings.
GrowGreen will do more than just providing energy. “The ability, however, to convert product from the power plant to the greenhouses as ‘climate control’ and for ‘photosynthesis’ in order to grow vegetables makes this project phenomenal,” Beck said. “The concept of this company has the ability to feed as well as heat the entire nation and the world.”
GrowGreen explains the process on its website: “The hydroponic greenhouse is a fully controlled growing environment capable of producing up to 30 times more high quality, safe produce than traditional farming. Initially, GrowGreen Anson County will produce tomatoes on the vine. U.S. annual per capita use of tomatoes and tomato products has increased nearly 30 percent over the past 20 years according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS).”