The newest occupant of the Gastonia Technology Park isn’t a business, but it’s a strong indicator of the park’s success and the increasing number of technology and manufacturing firms showing an interest in locating there. The City has completed a new $3.5 million electric substation devoted primarily to meeting the power needs of companies in the park.
“We needed increased power capacity to serve the growing number of businesses at the Tech Park,” said Joe Albright, who oversees the City of Gastonia’s electric division in his role as public utilities director. “This addition will also provide capacity to serve new industrial customers at the Apple Creek property.”
The substation, owned and operated by the City of Gastonia, is served by a 100,000 volt transmission line fed from the Duke Energy system. It supplies up to 40 megawatts, enough electricity to power a small city. Dedicated circuits will increase the quality and reliability of power to GTP companies, some of which are especially sensitive to power fluctuations.
The substation also provides a redundant source of electricity for the north Gastonia area, including the industry-heavy Tulip Drive corridor where customers like Freightliner and Stabilus are located. The new substation will relieve the industrial load on the Rankin Lake substation, which currently serves those industries.
The new substation will also support residential growth in the area and provide sufficient power for new companies recruited to the proposed industrial park planned next door to GTP. “Without the new substation we wouldn’t be as confident that we could provide electricity for the new park,” said Ron Gaff, electric division manager.
The Gastonia Technology Park will maintain its strong backup power system as well. Four large generators provide eight megawatts of stand-by power to GTP tenants. The ElectriCities redundant power system ensures that emergency electric power is restored within 30 seconds of any power outage.