Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Global Technical Systems (GTS) will invest $54.7 million on a new electro-mechanical energy storage system manufacturing operation in Virginia Beach.
Construction will begin in the first quarter 2018, and the facility will be operational in 2019.
It will be located on approximately 30 acres of land currently owned by the city of Virginia Beach, at the site of the former Owl's Creek Golf Course and near the city's historic Seatack community.
The company, a well-known provider of advanced engineering solutions for defense, homeland security and related U.S. Government and international customers, will construct a 500,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing center to produce and distribute 100 percent green energy storage systems, using advanced composites and engineering technologies.
"Global Technical Systems has called Virginia Beach home for 20 years, and an expansion of this magnitude that will create over 1,100 new jobs is transformational for the city and the region," said Governor McAuliffe. "Creating well-paid, 21st-century jobs is fundamental to our mission to diversify and build the new Virginia economy, and today's major announcement is another step forward. GTS models how traditional defense-oriented businesses can step out of their comfort zones and create new technologies with commercial applications that can truly change the world. We are proud to have GTS on the Commonwealth's corporate roster."
Virginia Beach successfully competed against Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. for the project, which is forecast to create 1,100 new jobs with an average annual salary of $74,000.
As this is new technology, Global Technical Systems will work with local and regional workforce partners to develop customized training programs for new employees.
"This is the type of project that every community in America wants," said Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. "A local, homegrown company develops a truly transformational new technology and makes the strategic decision to build it at home. With these new energy storage systems, that are 100 percent environmentally friendly, GTS has created the opportunity to change how the world manages our energy resources. This is an exciting day."
The process developed by Global Technical Systems to store energy uses advanced carbon fiber technology to create a clean electro-mechanical device that stores energy without using any hazardous chemicals.
Energy can come from any source such as solar, power grid, wind or water and be released upon demand when needed.
This scalable technology can be extremely impactful around the world for developing countries in a variety of institutional, commercial and residential applications.
Founded in Virginia Beach in 1997, GTS is a family-owned small business led by Terry and Yusun Spitzer.
They traditionally have provided innovative high-tech engineering products and engineering services for commercial and Department of Defense customers from around the world, but saw an opportunity to create a new business model based on groundbreaking advances in carbon fiber technologies.
"This green energy manufacturing center is a long standing dream we've had at GTS," said CEO Terry Spitzer. "Having steadily grown our business since 1997, we've continuously expanded our technical engineering competencies to meet the dynamic needs of our commercial and government customers. We have recently developed game-changing technologies that we believe will shape the future of renewable energy, grid modernization and other energy-dense storage applications. With this new facility, GTS anticipates rapidly expanding to capture an emerging trillion-plus dollar grid storage market that will reshape the way our utilities address modernization including offsetting the need for new electric generation. Its broad applicability promises to deliver other tremendous improvements to high-energy users, inclusive of: mass transportation such as high-speed rail and metro-rail systems; data centers; critical infrastructure back-up power systems for emergency services providers and DoD applications such as high- energy pulsed weapons and shipboard electric drive architectures. Our facility's related carbon-fiber manufacturing will also drive the development of the next generation of low-weight, high-strength products across a variety of industry sector.
"Central to our aspirations is delivering much-needed economic diversification and high paying advanced manufacturing jobs," Spitzer continued. "By undertaking development of this manufacturing facility and green energy storage market, we think we'll be able to deliver on that aspiration in a truly meaningful way that will eventually touch the lives and economic security of thousands in our community."
"GTS is changing the world," said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. "The company has been working on the prototype at its Lynnhaven headquarters facility for several years, and the market response has been incredible. This announcement confirms that our efforts to create a sustainable and diverse innovative economy are working."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Virginia Beach to secure the project for Virginia.
Governor McAuliffe approved a $1.8 million grant from the Commonwealth's Opportunity Fund to assist with the project.
He also approved a $3 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing companies.
Funding and services to support employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
The company will also be eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority is scheduled to approve a performance-based Economic Development Incentive Program grant in the amount of $1.8 million, based on the company's capital investment and job creation.