Drive Oregon and Oregon Innovation Plan recommended for investment by legislators

Yesterday the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development passed SB 5528, the biennial budget for “Business Oregon,” the Oregon Business Development Department. The Budget now heads to the full Ways and Means Committee for consideration.
The budget includes some key provisions to support major opportunities to lower Oregon’s stubbornly high unemployment and lagging personal income levels. These include:

The Oregon Innovation Plan

The Oregon Innovation Plan is now in its third round of funding and has delivered impressive results for the state. The Subcommittee allocated sixteen million dollars this biennium for the Innovation Plan, a suite of initiatives to enhance industry innovation and the commercialization of research. The funding will go toward three industry initiatives and three signature research centers. The industry initiatives include improving innovation and productivity in the food processing industry (IPC) ($500k), catalyzing Oregon’s emerging electric vehicle industry through Drive Oregon ($1.2 million), and putting Oregon on the map for wave energy development and manufacturing through Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) ($2.5 million). The Signature Research Centers include the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Institute (ONAMI) ($5.3 million), Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST) ($3.8 million) and the Oregon Translational Drug Institute (OTRADI) ($2.8 million).

In the midst of a historic recession, the Oregon Innovation Plan developed by the Oregon Innovation Council has been successful at incubating new ideas into growing businesses, helping established industries become more competitive and creating a new economic future for all Oregonians. In less than four years of state funding, the six initiatives of the Oregon Innovation Plan have brought $195 million in federal and private grants back to Oregon and are on track to generate more than $7 for every dollar the legislature has invested, not to mention the creation of 1117 jobs and the incubation of 15 new companies.

For more details on how the funding will be used, visit http://www.oregon4biz.com/Innovation-in-Oregon/.

Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit coming to Portland

3rd Annual Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit

Bringing industries and partners together to support and advance industrial energy efficiency

Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit PDX 1101191 262x300 Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit coming to Portland
Find out how your industry peers use energy efficiency as a competitive advantage.  Hear real-life energy savings success stories (and challenges) from industry personnel.  Case study examples include:  Strategic Energy Management; Quick Starts to Energy Efficiency; Emerging Applications of Existing Technology; and Energy Information Systems.

Network with companies who are implementing energy efficiency programs and projects; share and lean from their experiences.

Connect with energy services providers about technical and financial opportunities to help you save energy.

You should attend if you are involved in plant operations, plant engineering, energy management, sustainable practices, energy efficiency programs, services or products, or are interested in industrial energy efficiency.

Date:  January 19, 2011

Location:  Oregon Convention Center – 777 NE MLK, Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232

See here for additional information about the Energy Summit or send an email

Smarter Policy for a Smarter Grid: The First Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference

Smarter Policy for a Smarter Grid: The First Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference

Smarter Policy for a Smarter Grid 300x208 Smarter Policy for a Smarter Grid: The First Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference
November 9, 2010, World Trade Center, Portland

The aim of this first Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference is to help public and utility officials, regulators, legislators, city and county governments and other stakeholders in Oregon and the Region gain a better understanding of the Smart Grid and policy decisions that will need to be addressed in the coming years.   This conference is intended to inform knowledgeable, forward-looking public leaders of the many Smart Grid activities taking place today in the Region and World that can be useful in crafting a visionary public policy.

Smart Grid Oregon is dedicated to making Oregon a leader in the implementation of Smart Grid technologies and in supporting companies that build and market Smart Grid products and services. A visionary public policy is a critical factor in achieving our goals.

The electric system is being challenged to evolve more rapidly than at any time in its history.   Public policies are also placing extraordinary demands on our hydro power resources which in turn will lead to increasing costs of electric power in coming years.

We can approach all of these changes as a threat or an opportunity.   The opportunity is that the rapid advance in information technology over the past several decades provides a wealth of new, low-cost and standardized ways of improving the management of our electrical system.   The application of such advanced information technology to the electrical system is generally referred to as the “Smart Grid”.

However, in order to take full advantage of what Smart Grid technology can do for us, many of our “sacred” assumptions and historic ways of regulating and managing the electric utility business can become impediments to growth if we don’t understand the opportunities and make changes in public policy in a timely manner.

The US ARRA investments in Smart Grid Investment and Demonstration programs, combined with other Federal, Regional and State investments in accelerating the definition and implementation of Smart Grid (or “Smarter” Grid) technologies are bringing a bewildering array of new Smart Grid data and information to the public forum.  Cataloging, evaluating and turning this information into useful public policy decisions will occupy policy makers for years to come.

Click here for more information and to register.

Agenda

7:30-8:30AM      Registration

8:30-9:30AM      Welcome and Keynote:  Public Policy in Context: Where are we Today and Where are we Going?

Keynote speaker Roy Hemmingway will put the current electric utility public policy questions in perspective.  How did we get here and what are the challenges facing public policy in the future?  Roy is uniquely qualified to set the stage for the day’s discussion.  As past member of the Northwest Power Planning Council, past Chair of the Oregon PUC and energy advisor to three governors, Roy understands the issues in Oregon and the Northwest.

9:30-10:30         The Pacific Northwest Regional Smart Grid Demonstration Project: National Visibility and Public Policy Implications.   This session will provide an overview of the $188 million Project and how it will inform public policy in Oregon and the Northwest for years to come.   The project will expand existing electric infrastructure and test new combinations of devices, software and analytical tools in homes and on the grid in 12 Pacific Northwest communities. Information from consumers involved in the study will flow back to the Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center located at Battelle’s Richland campus, for analysis. There researchers will quantify the costs and benefits of smart grid technology at both the local and regional level. The data generated from the demonstration project is expected to enable a level of grid performance and transparency to real-time grid status not currently attainable. Public and private sectors will then be able to use this information to reduce the operating costs for utilities, which are usually passed on to consumers.

10:30-11:00         Networking break

11:00-12:00         Other Regional Smart Grid Investments and How they will Impact Public Policy.   Tentative: Representatives of an Oregon Public Utility District, Portland General Electric and Drive Oregon will discuss different types of Smart Grid activities and their implications for public policy.  .

12-1:30PM          Lunch Keynote:  Reshaping Public Policy for the New Age of Electricity

Keynote speaker Kurt Yeager, past president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute and currently Executive Director of the Galvin Electricity Initiative, has unmatched experience in dealing with state, national and international electric utility public policy.  He is working with electricity experts, innovators and entrepreneurs to design and build Perfect Power System models of a smart, efficient electric power system that cannot fail the consumer.    He also leads the Initiative in driving the electricity policy changes necessary for system transformation at the state and federal levels.

1:30-2:30 PM    The Federal Government Electric System Agenda and its Impact on State and Local Public Policy.

Speaker Chris Hickman is ideally suited to address this topic.   With recent Federal legislation and funding from the 2009 ARRA, US Government policies and investments are accelerating changes in the electric system at an unprecedented rate.   The DOE, DOC NIST, FERC, NERC, DOD, BPA and EPA are all pursuing major initiatives that impact the state and local electric utility business.   How can Oregon and the Region take maximum advantage of these investments without losing our unique characteristics?       Chris has served on the boards of the IEEE Power Engineering Society, the GridWise Alliance and Avistar, an unregulated subsidiary of PNM and several non-profit organizations.  He is a frequent speaker to regulatory organizations such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Congress and also at a variety of industry leadership conferences.    Hickman spent over 13 years in various executive-level positions at PNM Resources (New Mexico) more recently was an executive at Ice Energy, SureGrid, and at Cellnet Technology.   

2:30-3:30PM      What Can we Learn from other States (specifically California)?

Our neighbor to the south is an undisputed leader in tackling climate change by remaking their electrical system.    But the rapid implementation of leading edge technology and changing public policy has not been without a few hiccups.   Understanding California’s policy changes and their consequences can help Oregon and the region navigate with fewer bumps along the way.   Speakers Lauren Navarro of the Environmental Defense Fund and Andy Campbell of the California PUC (tentative) have been deeply involved in California’s leading edge Smart Grid activities.  Navarro represented EDF working with the CPUC on the recent adoption of a comprehensive plan to maximize the environmental and consumer benefits in the smart grid plans of state investor-owned utilities, PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE).     Andrew Campbell has served as Chief Energy Advisor to Commissioner Nancy Ryan at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) since February 2010.  Prior to joining Commissioner Ryan’s staff, Mr. Campbell served as Senior Energy Advisor to Commissioner Rachelle Chong.  Mr. Campbell has also worked in the CPUC’s Division of Strategic Planning.

3:30-4:00PM     Networking Break

4:00-5:00PM     BPA Initiatives and their impacts on State and Local Policy

The Bonneville Power Administration is at the center of Regional power system public policy and changes.   BPA is aggressively investing in numerous initiatives that will illuminate and impact public policy for years to come.   Understanding these will be critical to developing forward-looking public policy changes.

5:00-5:30PM      Introduction to the Smart Grid Oregon’s Public Policy Agenda and Wrap-up

5:30-6:30 PM     No Host Reception

Who Should Attend?

The Conference is aimed at all those stakeholders in the State and Region with an interest in and ability to impact public policy for the electric utility system.   Attendees would include interested legislators and staff, PUC Commissioners and staff, representatives from the State Department of Energy and the Executive branch, public and private utility officials, county and local officials, board members of cooperatives and municipal utilities, electricity consumers and other officials and executives with a stake in the business.   Attendees need not be experts on the electrical system or the rapid advances being made in applying new technical solutions to managing the system.

Benefits

This is the first of its kind conference in Oregon.  Attendees will gain an appreciation of the range and impact of various investments taking place in our Region and how they will inform public policy decisions for years to come.   Attendees will also have an opportunity to meet and talk with others engaged in understanding the changes occurring and how to best manage them for public benefit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Drive Oregon (electric vehicle group) clears hurdle

A key state economic agency says Oregon should plug $2.45 million into its growing electric vehicle sector and that support for the fledgling industry could spur significant gains.

Though there are still several steps before the industry receives funding, the news is good for dozens of organizations that either provide research and design to the electric vehicle sector or manufacture vehicles, charging stations, batteries and components.

Their collaborative plan for growing the industry, called Drive Oregon, received a funding recommendation from the Oregon Innovation Council Aug. 16, emerging at the top of 23 contenders in a competitive review. It was the only new initiative recommended for funding by the council this biennium, along with five others currently supported by the state.

Oregon InC, as the council is also called, acts as an economic development adviser through a partnership with research universities and the private sector. Council members include business heavyweights, legislators and academic leaders who evaluate new pitches from industry.

Sectors that win the council’s favor have seen big benefits. But earning its recommendation takes work. Each contender must provide a careful plan for success, and industry leaders also have to prove they have the time, the leadership and the resources to turn a state investment into new companies and jobs. Since 2005, only five other sectors have made the cut.

Now, if the Oregon Business Development Department Commission and the legislature sign on, $2.45 million would convert Drive Oregon into a nonprofit corporation that could use state funds to leverage federal and other grants, plus private investments.

Pulse at Capital Drive Oregon (electric vehicle group) clears hurdle“We would be looking at having Drive Oregon actually supply some of the services necessary to go after those resources,” said Mark Frohnmayer, founder of Arcimoto, a Eugene company that builds electric vehicles, and a member of the steering committee for Drive Oregon.

“We’ve mapped out some 40-plus organizations that are already participating in (the sector). One of the very common threads we found though was a lack of capital resources to really get stuff off the ground,” he said. “By specifically constituting this initiative around assisting companies in this space with their needs, we think that’s going to help kickstart, not only startup and incubation points, but bringing products into the space.”

If funded, Drive Oregon would face a daunting to do list: create 166 jobs in two years, establish a regulatory and testing framework for the next generation of ultra efficient vehicles; stoke collaboration between researchers, companies, utilities and government; and marry Oregon’s existing clean tech companies with other manufacturing, software and high tech businesses.

John Doussard, a policy analyst for the Oregon Business Development Department who works with Oregon InC, said the council found several reasons to support the plan.

“We’ve already got the beginnings of national leadership here in Oregon,” he said.

With a federal goal of putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, Doussard said Drive Oregon stands a good chance of bringing money here, particularly while Portland stands out as one of the largest consumer markets for electric vehicles in the nation.

Though Oregon’s budget crisis will be a significant hurdle to funding Drive Oregon in 2011, Doussard expressed optimism. Oregon InC’s recommendation will weigh heavily in the plan’s favor is clear.

Other sectors that have won the council’s backing have seen steady state funding and solid growth.

Five other initiatives recommended by Oregon InC support nanotechnologies and micro-level manufacturing; the development of green building materials and alternative fuel sources; commercialization of therapies to fight infectious diseases; development of wave energy, and innovation among Oregon’s food processing and seafood industries.

Seeded with $42 million in state money since 2007, the initiatives have lured $195 million back to Oregon. They played a role in launching 15 new companies and developing products from portable kidney dialysis machines to new drugs to fight malaria. Officials say the initiatives help create and retain more than 660 jobs, and provide research and development assistance to 155 companies.

The Oregon Business Development Department Commission will vote on the Drive Oregon initiative Sept. 24.

From:  Sustainable Business Oregon by Lee van der Voo

Driving Oregon’s Future

A group of state and local government, higher education, and businesses — including PGE — is working to expand the electric vehicle infrastructure in Oregon, to bring the newest electric vehicles to market here and develop new business opportunities that benefit the environment.

America’s Electric Car Capitals According to Forbes

Forbes' List of America's Electric Car Capitals

 

The Full List of America’s Electric Car Capitals:

  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco Bay area, California
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Austin, Texas
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Phoenix/Tucson, Arizona

Source:  Forbes.com

Pecan Street Project: a community-wide collaboration to reinvent the energy delivery system

I saw a great presentation by Jose Beceiro yesterday on Austin’s ambitious Pecan Street Project.  Here’s a brief introductory video:

Meet the Pecan Street Project

The Pecan Street Project is a community-wide collaboration to fully reinvent the energy delivery system. It’s more than a smart grid project. Pecan Street is an ambitious effort to empower customers and innovators to use the energy system in new ways while making energy cleaner, water usage more efficient and the economy stronger.

OREV Steps Up with Proposal to Make Oregon a Leader in Electric Vehicles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                June 10, 2010

OREV Steps Up with Proposal to Make Oregon a Leader in Electric Vehicles

Group gains momentum along with Oregon’s EV market, technology, and policy strength

PORTLAND, Oregon – The Oregon Roundtable for the Electric Vehicle Industry (OREV) submitted a proposal last week with a $2.45 million plan to establish Oregon as a world leader in the design, manufacture, and integration of ultra-efficient vehicles and related infrastructure and technologies.  The proposal was submitted to the Oregon Innovation Council in response to a request for Key Industry Innovation Initiatives.

The proposed initiative will build OREV’s ability to achieve key goals for Oregon:

  • Leverage federal and private funding to enable Oregon’s continued leadership in Electric Vehicles (EVs).
  • Connect Oregon University System institutions, utilities, state and local government entities and EV industry stakeholders to efficiently develop and commercialize next-generation transportation technologies.
  • Foster collaboration between Oregon’s existing clean tech, manufacturing, smart grid, software and other sectors to participate in the EV supply chain.
  • Create skilled, family-wage jobs to build the next generation of transportation solutions.

“The EV industry – with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, components, and infrastructure – represents a huge opportunity for Oregon,” said John Thornton, lead author of the group’s proposal.  “But we will only capture these jobs, and the energy security and environmental benefits, if we act now and turn our early EV readiness into a long-term strength.”

A key strategy is to win a leading share of large federal programs, aimed at EV deployment and EV-related manufacturing, by rallying the state’s strong existing capabilities in a coordinated and focused effort.

Oregon’s strength in EVs goes back many years, combining the state’s high-technology industry and a history of environmental leadership.  The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association (OEVA) has long been the gathering place EV enthusiasts, along with providing education and outreach and an annual EV Awareness Day.  More recently, the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) was formed in 2005, directing research expertise at multiple Oregon universities to look at transportation improvements, increasingly including EVs.

But the state lacked a means of gathering the many industry players who were working on vehicle electrification.  In early 2009, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) identified this emerging cluster, and worked with Business Oregon to convene and support the group – which later became OREV.  The group now includes over 40 companies and organizations working across the electric vehicle arena.  More information is available at www.OR-EV.org.

The interest in EVs continues to build, with activities nearly every week.  Portland General Electric (PGE) recently took EVs to the streets, featuring a range of vehicles in the Starlight Parade.  And on Friday, June 11, PGE, Portland State University, and OTREC will host ‘E.V. Road Map 2,’ featuring presentations by national experts, and providing an update on continuing EV initiatives in Oregon.

As a likely early-adopter market for EVs, Oregon has garnered international attention through the state’s high hybrid electric vehicle concentration.  This helped earn the state a position as one of just five test markets for the largest rollout of electric vehicles and an associated charging station network in U.S. history.  The initiative will bring nearly 1,000 Nissan electric vehicles to Oregon in 2010, along with nearly 2,000 charging stations.

The public sector is a key factor favoring the success of Oregon’s EV players.  Companies including Cascade Sierra Solutions, Shorepower Technologies, Entek, EnerG2, and Revolt Technology have already won significant federal support for their job-creating work in EVs.

At the state level, recent modifications to Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) include a credit for EV manufacturing.

Key upcoming leverage opportunities include a bill co-sponsored by the state’s own Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR).  The “Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010” proposes an $11 billion package to create 5 to 8 “deployment communities” to jump-start the electric vehicle industry in the U.S.  With a concerted effort and support from the Oregon Innovation Council, OREV aims to make Oregon one of the winning deployment communities. 

In its proposal, OREV also plans to help members target the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP), which includes $20 billion of DOE funding. 

“We have done a fantastic job in green buildings, and now we need to focus on transforming our transportation system,” said Thornton.  “It’s another local example of innovation and high density deployment leading to a strong sector, job creation, and exportable products.”

Contacts from the OREV Steering Committee:

Tim Miller
President and CEO
Green Lite Motors Corporation
Cell: 503-490-3014
Email: TimMiller@GreenLiteMotors.com

 

Trevor Steele                                                          
Director of Government Relations                
Arcimoto LLC                                                          
Cell: 541-954-0065                                              
Email: trevor@arcimoto.com                         

###

Japan-U.S. Smart Grid Market Trends of the Future

Here’s an event by the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) on comparisons of smart grid trends in the U.S. and Japan I’ve been helping with:

Global companies are closely eyeing the opportunity in the now-developing smartgrid logo Japan U.S. Smart Grid Market Trends of the Futureand popular smart grid market. Currently, the U.S. is the hot spot for smart grid development and is also attracting Asian companies from Japan, China and Korea, who are interested in deploying their smart grid technologies in the U.S. However, a majority of the U.S.-based smart grid technology companies in this market are unaware of the opportunities outside of the U.S.

This seminar will offer opportunities to learn what is happening in the smart grid market in Japan and the U.S. Furthermore, in this seminar you will learn ideas on how Japanese and U.S. smart grid companies could complement each other to grow the market together.

The general difference in the current implementation of the smart grid in Japan and the U.S. is that the U.S. seems more business-focused, aiming to reduce energy costs and develop infrastructure, while Japan seems more society-focused, seeking to reduce carbon emissions as a whole. Japan already has a reliable grid and is pushing for advanced integrated control including demand-side to be ready for intermittent renewable energy sources. In the United States, however, there’s a need for highly reliable transmission and distribution networks.

Agenda:

Registration and NetworkingWelcome Remarks

Panel Discussion: Japan-U.S. future smart grid trends
 Chenyi Chiu, Strategic Engineering Manager, Panasonic R&D Company of America
Stephen G Eichenlaub, Managing Director, Intel Capital
Tim Van Slambrouck, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, DENT Instruments

 

    What is happening in the Japanese smart grid market/technology (composite smart grid including EVs)?
    What is happening in the U.S smart grid market/technology (composite smart grid including EVs)?
    What are the difference and similarities between Japan and the U.S smart grid market/technology? How can they complement each other to grow the market together?

Moderator: Jeff Hammarlund, Adjunct Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Portland State University

Q&A

Closing Remarks

Networking and Adjourn

Join us for an opportunity to advance a close working relationship between Japan and the U.S. to develop and deploy the smart grid in each nation.  Register here.

Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities – Interactive Conference 2010

Conference Announcement

Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities

Interactive Conference on June 15th, 2010 / 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Join faculty and students of Portland State University and
government, business, and community leaders as we learn,
discuss and collaborate on how the technologies of the
Smart Grid can support sustainable communities at
Two World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon StreetPortland, Oregon

 Sponsors: Portland State University, Portland General Electric

Climate Solutions, Smart Grid Oregon, and others

Agenda Highlights

  • Morning Keynote Speakers
    What is the Smart Grid and how can it support more sustainable communities?  Allen Schurr, IBM Vice President for Strategy and Development, Global Energy and Utilities
  • Morning Presentations on Three Case Studies
    • Testing utility-scale battery storage as a Smart Grid option: Portland General Electric’s Feeder Advanced Storage Transaction (FAST) Project
    • Applying the Smart Grid to an eco-district or neighborhood energy project: the proposed Portland State University’s Eco-District and the North Pearl Energy Project
    • A strategy for connecting electric vehicles and the Smart Grid in the Portland Metro area
  • Lunch Keynote Speaker
    Austin’s Pecan Street Project:  One Model for Integrating the Smart Grid into a Comprehensive Sustainable Development Strategy.  Jose Beceiro, Board Member, Austin’s Pecan Street Project, and Director of Clean Energy Economic Development, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Afternoon Roundtable Discussions and Feedback on our Case Studies
    • Portland General Electric’s Feeder Advanced Storage Transaction (FAST) Project
    • Applying the Smart Grid to an eco-district or neighborhood energy project
    • Connecting electric vehicles and the Smart Grid 
  • Reflections on the day and recommendations for next steps from our keynote speakers and other conference participants
 

Who Should Attend
Leaders in government, business, IT and communications regulators, utilities, Smart Grid technology vendors, planners, engineers, architects, home and building owners

Register Now Advance registration is required. Cost:  $25.  Space is limited and registration requests will be accepted in the order they are received.

Description
As your host, Portland State University will facilitate discussion around the recent outcomes and findings from our interdisciplinary graduate class,  Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities.  At this interactive conference, participants will collaborate to identify Smart Grid components and priorities that will support a more sustainable energy plan for the energy demands of the Pacific Northwest.

Background
The “Smart Grid” has caught the attention of political, business, and community leaders from the White House to Northwest communities and electric utilities. And for good reason.

Its champions tell us the Smart Grid will allow us to use many of the same technologies, concepts, and models behind the internet to transform our electric grid from a centralized network largely controlled by utilities to one that is less centralized….more                         

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