Eco-Merge GCC

CHANGING HOW DEVELOPMENT IS DONE



A SOCIAL IMPERATIVE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

Growing recognition of the effects of human behavior on our planet is driving profound change across the global economy. The case for environmental responsibility is powerful; it is influencing economic development, corporate strategy and the way we go about our daily lives. We know we can and have to do better. And leading organizations are investing their knowledge and financial resources to develop, produce and implement new methods, new tools and new technologies that are good for us, good for business and good for Planet Earth.

THE ECO-MERGE GREEN CORPORATE CENTER APPROACH

Eco-Merge Green Corporate Center (GCC) will be a center of development for common-sense green approaches and technology – a worldwide source and showcase of ecologically sustainable advances in commerce, industry, aviation and more.

The purpose is to link exciting new technologies with markets in both developing and industrialized nations alike. We will cultivate green knowledge and techniques that are adaptable and cost less. In the process, GCC will define Central Texas as a focal point for green business development, enhanced by the presence of Central Texas Airport.

We are recruiting leading companies and institutions in Japan, the United States, Europe, Asia and around the globe to bring the best green technology thinking and capabilities to Bastrop County and GCC. These organizations will establish research and development laboratories, technology incubators, production and green demonstrations for office, industrial, and manufacturing facilities.

Among green innovators already committed to the center are:

  • Toshiba International Corp., which is recognized worldwide for its technology innovation in energy services and equipment. TIC will start at GCC by building a state-of-the-art, 9.9-megawatt solar-energy farm. The installation will serve as a showcase for the company’s latest photovoltaic technology and broader expertise in alternative-energy solutions.
  • ecoSolargy, a subsidiary of Tianwei Clean Energy of Chengdu, China, a developer and manufacturer of photovoltaic solar technology, and a leader in thin films for solar-energy collection and other applications. The company will produce solar panels at GCC, positioning itself for growth in the U.S. Southwest, as well as in Mexico and Central and South America.
  • Akash Ganga Pte. Ltd., based in Chennai, India, which specializes in atmospheric moisture extraction—literally making clean drinking water from air. The innovative technology could be profound in many parts of the world, providing clean water to people without the significant resources required for desalinization and traditional water infrastructures.
  • Yerico Manufacturing Inc., a strategic partner of Fawoo Technologies of Pusan, Korea, and a supplier of cutting-edge LED lighting technology and semiconductor resurfacing. At GCC, Yerico will demonstrate how energy consumption and costs for lighting can be reduced with smart infrastructure assessment and investment.

At the same time, the infrastructure of GCC itself will demonstrate unprecedented levels of energy efficiency through incorporation of master community design, construction and operating standards that achieve or exceed the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, standards.

At the hub of the campus will be an innovative Internet Protocol-based “micro grid,” led by Austin-based Tiga Energy Services, to manage all energy generation, storage, transmission and consumption, as well as provide voice, video and data services.

CENTRAL TEXAS AIRPORT

A key element of GCC will be Central Texas Airport (CTA), which is being designed and will operate at the same high standards for environmental responsibility, and will expand critical general-aviation capacity for all of Central Texas, including Austin, the 15th-largest city by population in the United States.

CTA will provide a compelling, long-overdue alternative for many of the private and commercial aircraft and supporting services that were displaced by the closure of the Mueller and Austin Executive airports or are not well served today. By design, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport mostly supports commercial passenger and air-cargo businesses.

ABIA and two other general-aviation airports in Central Texas together are inadequate to meet the region’s air-transportation demand today or in the future, including by the region’s large and important high-tech sector. Fuel costs are above the national average, and hangar space is extremely limited. For instance, Georgetown Municipal Airport alone has a waiting list of more than 100 requests for hangar space. The deficiencies, which date back more than 10 years, limit the attractiveness of Central Texas to business investment when compared with similarly sized metropolitan areas, such as Raleigh-Durham, Denver, Nashville and Portland, Ore.

GCC IN THE CENTRAL TEXAS COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENT

GCC will be an appropriate, positive addition to Bastrop County and Central Texas and because of what it contributes and how it is done.

Central Texas Airport illustrates the case. The types of business, charter and other private aircraft that will be based at CTA are known to be among the quietest and most environmentally advanced in the world. A development agreement unanimously approved by Bastrop County Commissioners prohibits regularly scheduled passenger service. All U.S. Federal Aviation Administration regulations apply.

As many as 250 aircraft are projected to be housed at CTA, but only a small percentage of those will be involved in daily takeoffs and landings. Eighty percent of daily air traffic will arrive from the more rural north, descending against the southern wind with the practical effect of minimizing noise. Takeoffs will quickly rise 1,000 feet or more before leaving GCC grounds and climb steadily from there.

Wastewater service in the project's first phase will consist of on-site septic. As GCC expands, a collected wastewater system will be installed that is compliant with all Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulations. By law, fuel storage at GCC must also meet TCEQ standards.

PRIVATE FUNDING, PUBLIC BENEFIT

Development, construction and operation of GCC will be carried out with private investment, preserving public financing for other priority projects.

Costs for necessary public infrastructure improvements will be paid for by GCC and reimbursed over time from a portion of tax proceeds generated by the development. Those reimbursements will primarily result from a June 2010 agreement with the Bastrop County Commissioners Court, which unanimously approved sharing county property and sales tax collections so that GCC can repay debt for infrastructure construction. Payments will be made only as new tax revenue streams are created by the project. Similar agreements with other entities, for improvements such as emergency services, water and drainage, are pending.

An early study by The Perryman Group of Waco, Texas, indicated that during build-out GCC could generate an average of more than 3,000 full- and part-time construction and related jobs. Once operationally mature, the development may annually account for more than 10,000 on-campus jobs—perhaps another 30,000 across Central Texas—along with more than $2 billion in goods and services, $4 billion-plus in total spending, and more than $300 million in new state and local tax revenue.

Eco-Merge GCC Press Release