Renewable energy company looks to move to Rock Hill

adouglas@heraldonline.com December 17, 2012 

York County’s first renewable energy company has plans to set up shop in Bluestar Silicones’ former facility on East White Street in Rock Hill.

The County Council on Monday night approved financial incentives for a solar and wind energy company that wants to locate about a mile from downtown Rock Hill.

“Project Turbine,” as it’s being dubbed through the incentive negotiation process, has Fort Mill ties. The company sells street lighting products that are powered by the sun and wind energy.

The company hopes to help cities and towns take public lighting fixtures “off the grid” and reduce electricity costs, said Mark Farris, York County’s economic development director.

The business entering Rock Hill’s urban core is a small, “innovative company,” he said.

“He’s going to be locating in an area where we struggle to get business and jobs,” Farris said.

The council made other incentives commitments on Monday, including:

• Paying $600,000 for infrastructure improvements on more than 150 acres near Carowinds Boulevard. The county’s commitment, Farris said, will pave the way for a new business park off Interstate 77 at Exit 90.

• Tax cuts for Physicians Choice Laboratory Services, which will become the first industrial tenet in Rock Hill’s Riverwalk Industrial Park, off Cherry Road and I-77. Physicians Choice plans to finish a $23 million development investment by the end of 2019 and create 360 full-time jobs.

Landing Physicians Choice as an anchor tenet, Farris said, has already resulted in two other manufacturing and distribution companies looking to locate at Riverwalk.

Sidewalks on Sutton Road

Sidewalk construction on Fort Mill’s Sutton Road is one step closer after being on hold for more than one year. The council has approved spending about $60,000 on the project – up from an original estimate of $5,000 in county cost in June 2011.

The overall projected cost of the Sutton Road sidewalk construction has jumped to $124,654 from $50,000 in June 2011.

The estimates came from the state Department of Transportation. The cost of the project has more than doubled, according to DOT, because of increased construction costs, anticipation of digging up large rocks and removing and replacing a fence.

The Sutton Place Homeowner’s Association will pay $5,000 toward the improvements and a federal grant will cover $40,000. The project still needs $19,653.

Anna Douglas 803-329-4068

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