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CMG Clean Tech's Green Garden Village in Osceola may help you go solar

Solar panels at Kennedy Space Center. Photo: NASA
Solar panels at Kennedy Space Center.

Osceola County is in negotiations with French-based green energy company CMG Clean Tech to build a clean energy technology park. Green Garden Village will be the company’s first facility in the United States. Orlando Economic Partnership’s CEO Tim Giuliani tells WMFE's Talia Blake that having this renewable energy hub in Central Florida could help residents move to solar in the future.

Listen to full conversation in the player above.

Tim Giuliani landscape is the CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership.
Orlando Economic Partnership
Tim Giuliani landscape is the CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership.

Expanding to the United States

On March 20, Osceola County Board of Commissioners approved CMG Clean Tech to purchase the land for Green Garden Village in phases. They are now in negotiations to finalize that plan before CMG can break ground on the site.

Green Garden Village will be the company's first U.S. facility in Osceola County, which is also home to NeoCity.

Compared to the rest of the country, Giuliani said Florida is the right place for manufacturing renewable energy sources. "The sun shines in the Sunshine State, so solar makes sense here."

But, why Osceola County?

"They have land, and that's very necessary. They've got water availability," he said. "In Europe, they have great relationships with their community colleges and rely on them for training of workforce. And so we have Valencia College, and they're going to occupy the property adjacent to the Poinciana campus."

The company plans to invest approximately $500 million to build Green Garden Village, which will be located at the intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and Reaves Road.

Once it's completed, Giuliani said the company plans to create 1,200 green technology jobs with annual average wages of $75,000.

"Our research team ran an analysis and arrives at a number of $119 million in new economic activity annually, once they get to full employment."

More options closer to home

In September 2022, the DeSantis Administration released a report that showed low and moderate income Floridians are spending more of their household budget on energy.

In Orange County, more than half of households are considered energy burdened with more than 6% of their budget going toward energy cost.

Giuliani said having a company like CMG Clean Tech will bring the manufacturing of renewable energy sources like electrical vehicle stations and solar panels to Central Florida, which could make it more affordable.

"So all of these technologies are part of the solution of providing not only renewable sources, but alternative sources. Having them manufactured here in the US cuts out the transportation cost."

Is there a cost to the Green Garden Village?

Giuliani said steps are being taken to understand the environmental impact of building Green Garden Village.

"Right now it's vacant land and there's a lot of wetlands out there. So they're going through the environmental study process to understand how to take best care of the land and still accomplish the goals of the company."

He said there's still a lot of work to be done over the next year.

"But given that the company's a green company and energy focused company," he said. "I think they obviously have an ethos, have a conscience, of exactly how this is built, how it impacts the land, and the environment."

CMG will likely have to conserve half of the land they purchase, according to Giuliani.

"They're working with the county on how to create some recreational opportunities. So there's access to that conservation land for others."

After a brief stint as Morning Edition Producer at The Public’s Radio in Rhode Island, Talia Blake returned to Central Florida Public Media. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. While at UCF, she was an intern for Central Florida’s public affairs show, Intersection. She joined on as Morning Edition Host in 2019. In 2022, Ms. Blake was appointed to the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalist’s board of directors.
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