By Lenore Fedow
Chelan County P.U.D. General Manager Steve Wright (left), Diamond Foundry Production President Kyle Gazay and Stemilt Growers President West Mathison at the signing for the power supply contract for Diamond Foundry’s second facility last week.
Washington—Diamond Foundry is one step closer to the grand opening of its second facility after inking a power supply contract last week.

The San Francisco-based lab-grown diamond company first announced plans for a new “MegaCarat” foundry in Wenatchee, a city in north-central Chelan County in Washington state, on its blog in September 2017.

Known locally as the “Apple Capital of the World,” the Diamond Foundry will have its facility there on three acres in an old packaging plant leased to the company by fifth-generation apple farmers Stemlit Growers.

A Diamond Foundry spokesperson confirmed to National Jeweler Tuesday that production already has begun at the Washington facility but said the recently approved additional hydropower will enable the company to expand.

Last week, Public Utility District commissioners for Chelan County, the county where Wenatchee is located, approved a 10-year power contract with Diamond Foundry, providing up to 19 megawatts of power to the company.

Growing diamonds in a lab is power-intensive, and currently the area doesn’t have the capacity to supply that much power to the plant, so Stemilt Growers has agreed to build a substation, according to the PUD.

PUD officials noted that a substation typically takes 18 months to finish but said the project would be fast-tracked for completion by March 2020.

The facility is expected to be fully operational by then and will bring between 35 and 50 jobs to the Wenatchee area.

Diamond Foundry noted the city’s proximity to a source of hydropower, as it sits at the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers.

“The partnership with Chelan P.U.D. and Stemilt has been seamless, and we are looking forward to continuing the Diamond Foundry mission of growing diamonds with net-zero carbon footprint,” Production President Kyle Gazay said in a statement.

Diamond Foundry is certified as carbon neutral by Natural Capital Partners, a London-based environmental consultancy group, meaning it was found to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

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