According to the Portland-Vancouver Regional Partners Council for Economic Development (Regional Partners), the region's recently expanded presence in wind and solar energy is the result of a strategic effort to help the economic recovery.
‘Despite the economic downturn, a number of companies in the Portland-Vancouver region have made new investments to expand services and products into the solar and wind arenas,’ says Gillian Floren, CEO of Greenlight Greater Portland, which is a member of Regional Partners. ‘It's a strategic move that is already benefiting many local businesses.’
State and local governments have played an active role in attracting and developing these sectors through a myriad of incentives and assistance, according to Regional Partners.
For example, Gov. Ted Kulongoski, D-Ore., has worked since 2007 to expand incentive programs and public policies to help jump-start growth in clean technology. Tax incentives, renewable portfolio standards, innovation investments and loan programs have all helped to attract clean technology companies that are creating jobs and bringing revenue to the state, according to the organization.
The strategic focus has triggered growth in production, facilities and employees among a number of wind and solar companies, including Vestas Wind Systems, whose North American headquarters are located in Portland.