An alternative energy company said it has purchased an old building that could signal the start of the Susquehanna Valley's own Silicon Valley.
The old Rebman's Department Store building in South Lancaster has been vacant for decades.
Alternative energy company, Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation, is looking to bring new jobs to the area, although it does most of its work thousands of miles away, in the ocean.
OTEC's ocean thermal energy conversion process uses cold seawater to create power. Pipes take cold water from 3,000 feet down and warm water from the surface.
Stations make a cycle that turns water into electricity without using fossil fuels. The process only works in the tropics.
Company officials said being based in Lancaster does not hinder its operations.
"It is far from the ocean, and we get that reaction. The world is a smaller and smaller place, particularly with the Internet, the instantaneous flow of information," said Jim Greenberg, the chief strategy officer at OTEC.
Even more unusual was the company's choice of an office building.
The inside of the former Rebman's building has an old, concrete look, but company officials said the goal is to fill up three floors with 75 high-paying jobs over the next few years.
"We're restricted only by the size of our company because we are a new company," said OTEC CEO Jermy Feakins. "We are expanding, but that takes time. So, this is going to be a major company in the years to come."
"This is definitely the beginning, I mean, this is the ground floor," Greenberg said. "This can be a tremendous source of community pride that Lancaster and people in general in Central Pennsylvania have had the vision and the courage to step up and support this and make this happen."
Feakins said the company just signed a contract to put a plant in the Bahamas, and there are thousands of potential spots for OTEC stations worldwide.
Some investors said the company has the potential to change the world by providing power and easily create drinkable water.
The corporation was also the subject of an article in the April edition of Forbes magazine.