Oregon to Lead Nation in Solar Production
Tim McCabe, who is the director of the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, says that Oregon is focusing resources on “all things renewable.” The state always showed a keen interest in solar and renewable energy in the past few years. And their efforts are bearing fruits in the form of clinching several coveted projects such as Solar World in Hillsboro, which became operational in October and have the largest solar cell manufacturing facility in North America; Solaicx, a silicon manufacturer for solar energy applications, in Portland; and Sanyo Solar in Salem.
Governor Ted Kulongoski’s commitment to developing clean energy resources is also reflected in the Renewable Portfolio Standard which stands for the state to supply 25 percent of its electricity needs by 2025. Here they are also trying to follow, “practice what you preach”. They have another mandate which resolves to have 100% of the state buildings lit and run on clean and green energy resources by 2025.
“During our last legislative session, we introduced a Business Energy Tax Credit to attract renewable energy manufacturers,” says McCabe. Renewable energy companies can save up to $20 million per year in tax credits by availing the benefits of this legislation. He is also optimistic about the targeted recruitment efforts which have already resulted in the adding up of about new 60 companies in this sector.
But successful completion of all this depends on the capable human resource or workforce. So a trained workforce should be available for the successful completion of this clean task. McCabe is eying the community colleges and industries for training a proficient workforce. Columbia Gorge Community College has already responded by devising a new curriculum for wind turbine repair. Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems in Portland employs about 300 people and expecting more employees to join the workforce. Iberdrola , a Spanish wind energy company is growing in Portland.
But Governor is not banking on the domestic technology only. He is venturing into foreign territories too because Imports are indicating towards another promising area for revenue. Governor Ted Kulongoski’s made recent trips to Japan and China. Nissan had shown keen interest in test marketing its all-electric vehicle in Oregon in 2010. The state is planning to promote the electric and hybrid car industry. For this they need charging stations at convenient spots. So the state plans to build charging stations throughout Portland and, in the future, to establish charging stations at rest stops along Interstate 5.