The U.S. Economic Development Administration is providing a $330,000 grant to the city of Fremont, CA to study how to reuse the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant, which shut down on April 1 after operating for 25 years. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Brian McGowan said in a statement, “The NUMMI site closure in Fremont is representative of the need to diversity and strengthen the San Francisco Bay area economy by developing new investment and job growth opportunities in emerging high growth industries with global markets. This grant will help develop a strategy to create employment opportunities for the workers displaced as a result of the auto plant shutdown.” The plant employed more than 5,000 people directly and indirectly created about 25,000 jobs at suppliers throughout California. “I am encouraged by the federal government’s action today. As with all the other auto plant closings around the country, the federal government has a central role to play in helping affected communities find alternative uses for abandoned facilities,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said after the grant was announced last week. NUMMI was a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. However, when GM was bailed out by the federal government last year, the Japanese automaker withdrew from the facility and GM decided to close it.
Ontario is awarding 184 renewable energy projects that will create a total of 2.5 gigawatts of alternative energy support under its feed-in tariff program for projects of more than 500 kilowatts in size, according to The Street.com. The largest number of contract awards in solar were made to a Canadian solar company, Northland Power Solar, a company listed by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) as Ontario Inc. and privately held San Fransisco-based Recurrent Energy. Both received more than 10 projects. Recurrent Energy won the most individual contracts, with 23 contracts for a total of approximately 165MW of ground-based solar. Recurrent expects to invest $400 million across the Ontario solar projects. The private solar company, backed by Hudson Clean Energy Partners, has a global pipeline of 1GW. Ontario Inc. received 166 MW of solar contracts, while Northland received 130MW of solar projects.
Two former U.S. presidents and a former U.S. vice president will be headlining the keynote sessions at this year’s BIO International Convention, to be held May 3-6 at McCormick Place in Chicago. President Bill Clinton and President George W, Bush will be on the stage for a panel discussion on domestic and foreign policy issues at Tuesday’s keynote luncheon on May 4. The Wednesday, May 5 keynote luncheon at BIO will feature former Vice President Al Gore, who will discuss climate change. Gore’s speech will focus on the environment, healthcare reform and other pressing global issues with an emphasis on biotechnology’s role in addressing these challenges. “For the past 30 years, Al Gore has been one of the most influential voices on sustainability, climate change and numerous other environmental issues,” said BIO President and CEO James C. Greenwood. “We are honored to have Mr. Gore address our BIO International Convention and share his vision for solving some of the world’s most challenging problems through biotechnology innovations that help heal, fuel and feed the world.” Vice President Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to reduce global warming. He also is the author of An Inconvenient Truth, a best-selling book on the threat of and solutions to global warming, and the subject of the movie of the same title, which is one of the top documentary films in history. “Each year, we endeavor to bring the world’s top thought leaders to share their insights and vision with our attendees,” said Robbi Lycett, vice president of Conventions & Conferences at BIO. “Mr. Gore will continue this tradition of helping cement our Convention’s position as a ‘can’t miss’ event for anyone engaged in the life sciences.” Wednesday’s keynote session is sponsored by Amgen, a leading human therapeutics company in the biotechnology industry. Past keynote speakers at BIO have included Colin Powell, J. Craig Venter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Duval Patrick, and Jeb Bush. Presidents Clinton and Bush, who served in the White House for 16 years, will discuss a wide variety of issues relating to both domestic and foreign policy. BIO President Greenwood will moderate the discussion between the two former presidents on Tuesday, May 4th at 11:30 a.m. “We are honored to have the rare opportunity to host two such influential and experienced global thought leaders as they share the same stage at the same time as headliners at our Convention,” Greenwood said . “We look forward to a thoughtful and informative discussion between Presidents Bush and Clinton as they discuss top issues and explore how […]
Nova Scotia Power and NewPage Port Hawkesbury have reached an agreement to develop a $200-million facility to generate electricity by burning biomass. They are planning a 60-megawatt biomass project that could produce three per cent of the province’s electricity to supply 50,000 homes. This proposal is similar to one rejected by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board last year. But this version is promising to create an additional 150 jobs in the woods of northern Nova Scotia. NewPage already burns bark and junk logs to produce energy at its pulp and paper operation in Cape Breton. If this project proceeds, the company will use “stem wood,” which means tree stumps, tops and branches will be left on the forest floor to restore nutrients to the soil. The project will eliminate the newsprint mill’s need for oil and sell surplus green energy to Nova Scotia Power, thereby reducing its environmental footprint. Environmentalists were critical of the previous proposal, saying it would require too much of the forest to be cut down.
Successful negotiation with Abound Solar means a $500 million investment for Indiana.
Gov. Steve Beshear and officials in Simpson County, KY have announced the expansion of Worldcolor’s facility in Franklin, Ky. The Franklin expansion will create 135 new full-time jobs and entail a capital investment of more than $9.7 million in the Commonwealth. “I’m delighted that Worldcolor has chosen to make such a significant investment in its Franklin plant, creating 135 new jobs,” said Gov. Beshear. “The vitality of our existing industries is essential to the recovery and growth of our state’s economy. Worldcolor’s expansion is a positive sign that we are moving in the right direction.” Worldcolor is one of the world’s largest printers of magazines, catalogs, newspaper inserts, books, directories and direct mail products. The company, which currently employs approximately 425 people at its 460,000 square-foot Franklin facility, is planning to expand by another 105,000 square feet. Worldcolor will add binding machines and upgrade selected presses to position the site for a significant increase in customer print volume to service magazine and catalog customers. “We are very pleased to make this significant investment in our Franklin facility to serve our magazine and catalog customers,” said Brian Freschi, president of Worldcolor North America. “The addition of the new binding equipment and enhanced presses will provide our customers with the latest technology and will be operated by proven and experienced print professionals.” The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Worldcolor for tax incentives up to $1,950,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. “This is an important opportunity to solidify Worldcolor’s presence in our community,” said Simpson County Judge Executive Jim Henderson. “It is exciting to see such a large investment in this company’s future.” “Worldcolor’s expansion amid these challenging times reflects the soundness of their business approach, the dedication of their local Simpson County workforce and a vibrant economic development effort in Simpson County,” said Sen. David Givens, of Greensburg. “I particularly applaud current Worldcolor employees, who through dedication and effort, have proven the Simpson County facility worthy of expansion.” “It is good to know companies like Worldcolor are willing to make further investments in strong communities like ours even during trying economic conditions,” said Representative Wilson Stone, of Scottsville. “I want to thank Worldcolor for investing in our community and I look forward to their future in Simpson County. I would also like to thank Governor Beshear and the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet for working with Worldcolor and providing the incentives that will allow […]
California’s ballot initiatives, which permit voters to make sweeping changes in state laws by passing statewide referendums, have sometimes had long-lasting and unintended consequences for the nation’s most populous state. Perhaps the most profound impact from these annual edicts from Golden State voters came in the late 1970s, when Proposition 13 placed a ceiling on the state’s tax structure. Unfortunately, Proposition 13 did not put a lid on state spending as well, perhaps setting the stage for the Jupiter-sized budget deficits that have afflicted California in recent years. This year, voters are poised to pass instant judgment on a state law that has not yet gone into effect but already has had a large national impact. In 2006, California passed a law authorizing a cap-and-trade program for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon-credit plan, set to go into effect in 2012, was considered a landmark at the time and triggered a national discussion that culminated in the U.S. House of Representatives passing a similar program last year as part of a comprehensive energy bill. But as the national recession deepened, support for cap-and-trade began to sink amid concerns that any proposal that treats carbon emissions as a regulated commodity—effectively setting a market price for emissions through the trading of carbon credits–will raise energy prices and smother the recovery. The U.S. Senate has yet to act on the House bill, and the Obama Administration is sending signals that it may postpone action on the energy package until after this fall’s Congressional elections. Administration sources also are hinting that cap-and-trade may not make the cut when horse-trading on the energy bill begins in earnest. If a petition now circulating in California gains enough signatures, California voters will weigh in on this critical issue this fall. The proposition, widely expected to gain a place on the statewide ballot, would postpone any carbon limit until the state economy rebounds. Specifically, it would bar California from implementing its cap-and-trade law until the state jobless rate–currently hovering at a dismal 12.5 percent–stabilizes at 5.5 percent. Barring a near-miraculous economic turnaround, this will not happen before the end of 2012. Predictably, energy companies and an antitax group are lining up behind the referendum. The energy concerns are issuing dire warnings about increased energy prices and lost jobs if cap-and-trade goes into effect. On the other side of the argument stands the California Air Resources Board, which concedes that the unit price of energy may rise, but notes that Californians’ total energy bills would be reduced through greater efficiency, theoretically […]
The Genesee County Economic Development Center is laying the groundwork for the creation of the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), a megaproject that could create an estimated 9,000 jobs for the region. The county is looking at a 1,336-acre site in Alabama township for the proposed science and tech park, according to Buffalo News City & Region. In a development that could take 10 to 15 years to reach its potential, STAMP would be the site of an advanced manufacturer of solar panels, computer chips and flat TV panel displays. It is modeled after a similar park in Saratoga County. Alabama, with a population of 1,900, is also home to the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. STAMP would abut the reservation, and officials say they will meet with tribal leaders to address any concerns about the project. The proposed site is now farmland and is near protected resources, including three large wildlife refuges—the 10,818-acre Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, which spills into Orleans and Niagara counties and two others operated by New York state. Earlier this month, the county center approved a 50-page scoping report that addresses dozens of topics, ranging from ecology and land use to economic benefits to Western New York. The project would include parking for 1,000 vehicles offset by 400 acres set aside for green space and a buffer zone. Provisions also must be made for providing sewer and water—up to 20,000 gallons per day—and minimizing noise and traffic congestion in a rural area. The Economic Development Center was reorganized in 1979 from a county industrial development agency. It has built business parks in Batavia, Bergen and Pembroke.
Locations across the country have made alternative energy central to their economic recovery strategies. The clean energy future is here, and the race is on to claim a leadership position in solar, wind, geothermal and biofuel technology and manufacturing.
Renewable energy resources rapidly are becoming a prerequisite for location decisions. There are many factors to consider in evaluating the green credentials of candidates. Q My company is considering where we should build a new facility to manufacture a product designed to take advantage of renewable energy sources. We want the new facility to be located in a region, state, and community that encourages the development and use of environmentally-friendly technologies and practices. How should we evaluate potential locations for our facility? The Expert Says: I will start from a macro perspective. To state the obvious, your company would do best to consider a country with good environmental conditions and a good record on environmental issues. By most respects this would limit your search to the developed countries rather than developing nations. Diving down a little deeper, there are a number of factors that should be considered at a regional level. I will start first with air quality. The condition of a region’s air quality is an important measure for a lot of manufacturers who are seeking federal air permits to discharge pollutants from their facilities. If this applies to your facility, then you will want to focus your search on areas that are in attainment for all of the criteria pollutants measured by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Beyond your own discharge issues, it may also be important to your company to be located in a community that has a strong history of monitoring and protecting the quality of its air. As such, the EPA attainment status remains an important factor. In addition, for companies that are vigilant about monitoring the environmental impact that its products and facilities have, you will also want to pay close attention to the energy and utility capacity of the communities that you are considering. On the electricity side, you will want to evaluate the generating sources owned and operated by the electric utility provider. You may actually elect to only consider communities that are served by an energy company whose generating portfolio is in a majority of renewable sources. If your process involves a lot of water and/or wastewater production, the planning and administration of regional water and wastewater systems will be an important issue for evaluation. You will want to consider whether or not the regional systems are using cutting edge technology for the capture, treatment, recycling and release of the water and wastewater resources. It will also be important to consider the capacity of the systems under consideration, as you do […]