Local silicon-epitaxy manufacturer GlobiTech is planning to build its own power generation plant on the south end of the its property in Sherman.

The Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission recently approved a site plan for the GlobiTech Power Generation Facility that would serve the company’s existing building at 200 West FM 1417, as well as a variance for a chain-link fence around the facility and a 13-foot setback instead of the normally required 55.7 feet.

“In the past, they’ve had upwards of 15 utility outages throughout the year that are significant for this facility,” engineer Justin Walton of Teague, Nall and Perkins, who represented GlobiTech, said of why the company wanted to build a power generation plant. “What this does is it allows for a consistent power at the site and reduces those outages to two to three a year.”

In May, the Sherman Economic Development Corp. board of directors approved a land purchase contract for GlobiTech to purchase 2.2 acres for $10,000 for the facility. Information provided to the commission states the generation equipment will be capable of operating in conjunction with the company’s electric utility provider, or in “island mode” where it is disconnected from the utility. The power generation facility will be natural gas fueled engine generators and are expected to be in use less than 200 hours each year.

As the electricity provider has said it has done everything to improve the reliability of the distribution feeders serving the facility, Walton said the reduction in power outages expected from the facility’s construction would be very important to GlobiTech in its manufacturing processes.

The exception approved by the commission allows GlobiTech to construct a chain-link fence around the planned power generation facility and avoid what Walton called “the oddest setback” of the city’s required 55.7 feet.

“Why would we call for 55.7 foot,” commission member Shawn Davis asked. “Why not 56 (feet)?”

Sherman Director of Development Services Scott Shadden explained that was the specific language for the Blalock Industrial Park ordinance when it was first developed in 1962.

“When they originally did Blalock, they wanted big open green areas and spacing,” Shadden said. “It’s been a great industrial park and has brought a lot of industries to Sherman because they like that setting.”

When SEDCO approved the deal to sell the land for the power generation facility to GlobiTech, Executive Vice President Frank Gadek said he wasn’t sure why it wasn’t part of GlobiTech’s property already.

“It’s just dirt that will never be used for anything else,” Gadek said.

Gadek said because of the size and location of the land sold to GlobiTech, there was unlikely to be anything SEDCO could do with it.

“You’ve got to have a minimum of five acres at (the) Blalock (Industrial Park) to do a traditional Type A project on it,” Gadek said of something that would qualify for a SEDCO incentive. “It works out for us and it works out for them as well.”

After approving the sale of the land to GlobiTech, the SEDCO board also approved a separate performance agreement with the company that will see GlobiTech investing $650,000 in switching equipment and receiving an incentive of $32,500. Gadek said the incentive agreement is only scheduled to last through the end of the year, so GlobiTech could receive the $32,500 incentive payment in the next seven months.

“It’s real fast and a relatively small deal (for SEDCO), but $650,000 is not a small deal (for GlobiTech),” Gadek said. “The two acres that GlobiTech’s buying from us, that’s going to go on the (city) tax roll, so that’s positive as well.”

SEDCO’s board also approved a $487,500 incentive for the local manufacturer last September after GlobiTech said it would be adding 12 new jobs over the following two years as part of a nearly $10 million capital investment in its Sherman plant.