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BASTROP COUNTY, TX-Most airports require some form of commercial real estate, from hangars, to industrial product for maintenance, to offices that support the airport functions. Central Texas Airport, currently in the planning stages, will have its own version dubbed Green Corporate Centers, which, upon build-out, could encompass up to 6.5 million square feet of product eligible for high-level LEED certification.

Jim Carpenter, president and CEO of developer Carpenter & Associates tells GlobeSt.com that approximately 1,100 acres is available for developing the different centers, which would attract businesses to service Central Texas Airport. The businesses attracted would include mechanics, avionics and electronics. But Carpenter wants only one of each, to avoid the possibility of competition. “I call this the Noah’s Ark Recruitment,” he says. “But one of everything, rather than two.”

Interest in the park has already been strong, he continues. Five companies are ready to set up shop, and the sites have barely been marketed.

The real estate won’t be clumped into one area, but rather, will be spread throughout the acreage in two and three clusters. Michael Hathaway is president and CEO of Pico Energy Services, which is working with Carpenter & Associates on the project. He tells GlobeSt.com that the area itself is already a greenfield, and the plan calls for only buildings that can receive LEED Silver and Gold certification. He explains that the developers studied other companies with green campuses to determine how it was done, and plan to use those lessons learned for Green Corporate Centers.

The other aspect that makes this campus unique, Hathaway says, is the planned solar grid, which will provide a majority of energy to this park. “We’ve set aside about 100 acres for this endeavor, and the plan is to generate enough solar power to help run the airport and Green Corporate Centers, and have enough left over to sell.” He adds that the solar component is anticipated to generate between 15 and 25 megawatts of solar power, though the airport and Green Corporate Centers would likely require 35 megawatts of power, as currently estimated.

The idea is that because Central Texas Airport operates between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., unused energy would be sold to a smart grid, which Pico Energy is also working on. “If we can manage consumption during down time, we could help power local communities, or sell to the grid,” Hathaway comments.

Carpenter says the whole project is a prototype to prove that environmentally friendly and technology can be united. If it works, he sees the ability to franchise the technology elsewhere to others who are interested. “We’re trying to make a statement,” Carpenter says. “We want to show that a project of this type is a balance between nature and technology.”

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