A local cannabis producer’s $55 million expansion project at the Tryon Technology Park has run into a power problem. An Aug. 31 letter from the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency’s Board Chairman Joseph Semione to National Grid senior representative Robert Muller indicates the board was “shocked” to learn the new electrical transmission line the county paid to have installed for the Tryon Technology Park in 2021 isn’t big enough to supply the electricity needed for Vireo Health’s new 325,000-square-foot facility, currently under construction.
“Vireo has informed the IDA that [National Grid] cannot provide Vireo with the power it requested from NG’s (National Grid’s) new electric service it just installed,” reads Semione’s letter. “The IDA Board was shocked when it learned of this. Fulton County paid NG a significant amount of money to install this new electric service for the [Tryon Technology Park] only to find that the first customer wanting to connect into it is advised that NG cannot meet its anticipated electrical load.”
The proposed expansion is expected to provide 180 new jobs at the plant and help to bolster Fulton County’s property tax revenue base. FCIDA Executive Director James Mraz on Thursday said the new 13.2 kv primary electric service line installed for the Tryon Technology Park cost approximately $650,000, a portion of which was paid for from a state grant.
“The line that was put in is the same size line that National Grid puts into most of its industrial parks. It services the majority of companies’ needs, so that’s what was done,” Mraz said. “Vireo’s project is going to utilize a large amount of electricity, and it’s, in essence, more than what that standard line can provide. When it was learned what the size of the [electrical] demand from Vireo was — which is the driving issue here, their demand beyond what the line can provide — it was shocking.”
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