Green energy plant announced for site of old Va. Beach golf course

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announces Dec. 5, 2017 that Global Technical Systems will be building a 500,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Virgnia Beach, at the site of the former Owl's Creek Golf Course. (Photo: WAVY/Walter Hildebrand).

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — An old golf course in Virginia Beach will soon be the site of a new green energy facility.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced that Global Technical Systems (GTS) will be investing $54.7 million for a new 500,000 square foot manufacturing plant at the site of the old Owl’s Creek Golf Course.

GTS is a company that provides “advanced engineering solutions” for clients that include defense and homeland security.

This project will be an expansion for the company, which has been based out of Virginia Beach for 20 years. The plant is expected to create more than 1,100 new jobs with an average salary of $74,000, according to McAuliffe.

The new plant will be used to make energy storage systems that will reportedly be 100 percent green.

“We competed against five other states, we won it. This is 11 hundred new jobs and this is going to grow exponentially,” said McAuliffe. ‘I would encourage every community in Virginia, you want manufacturing, you want this advanced manufacturing because it’ll bring other businesses.”

GTS has developed a process to make a device that can store energy — from sources like solar, wind, water and power grids — without using hazardous chemicals. That energy can be released on-demand when needed.

“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.”

Residents in Virginia Beach had been pushing back against a proposal to build a plant at the golf course. Some 600 residents signed an online petition that raised concerns about the project.

However, Yusun Spitzer, President of GTS says she is committed to Virginia Beach.

“We envision having a beautiful aesthetic landscape and its going to sit far back so its not there in your face and we are doing everything to make it a beautiful manufacturing center.”

McAuliffe approved a $1.8 million grant for the facility, which is expected to be operational some time in 2019.