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WA Companies Fired Up about Clean Energy

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 By Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA, Contact
May 6, 2009

Seattle – If Washington is going to be cleaner and greener, now is the time to grab some of the federal economic recovery dollars to get it done. That's the message this week from the Washington State Energy Summit, where hundreds of business and government leaders learned about different types of clean energy technology and energy efficiency, and how to apply for grant money to put them to use in their own companies and agencies. Those present heard about everything from smart grid technology and electric cars, to how to train workers for clean energy jobs and make energy efficiency programs pay off.

The state is receiving 180 million federal dollars for clean energy programs, in addition to grant money that individual companies and groups can apply for.

Ross MacFarlane, a senior adviser for business development with the group Climate Solutions, says the grant process is competitive, and there's no time to waste.

"In terms of next steps, there's a lot of very important near-term work that needs to be done, because the time windows for many of these stimulus opportunities are very short."

He says the governor signed a bill at the meeting to form a leadership team to create an economic development plan for "clean tech" and clean energy in the state.

"The general feeling was very energized, and I think people are feeling that yes, it's about time we really try to come together and develop some meaningful strategies and really go after these opportunities together."

MacFarlane, who led one of the workshops, says the federal representatives who were there told the group a good crowd in other states for this kind of meeting has been 30 or 40 people. Almost 700 attended in Seattle.


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