Nevada County: new grant provides Clean Tech Blueprint |

Nevada County: new grant provides Clean Tech Blueprint

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. and#8212; Nevada County is going to get its first comprehensive inventory of clean tech firms and opportunities, thanks to a new grant received by the Nevada County Economics Resource Council.

The new ERC grant is funded through the Private Industry Council and is called the Nevada County Clean Tech Blueprint.

All the information on our clean tech firms is probably available on the Web, but it is not pulled together in a way that makes it easy for people to find it. If you Google and#8220;Nevada County clean tech companies,and#8221; you get a random list, but Google the same thing for Sacramento and your first link is to the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce Green page.

It’s the ERC’s intent to provide this kind of visibility, accessibility and networked presence for our clean tech firms.

This public data base will be a compilation of entities, both private and public, that build for, sell to, or service the clean tech economy. Clean tech is a synthesis of green and technology. For Nevada County, that will include mechanical and electrical engineering, information tech, renewable energy research and development, video conferencing, carbon credit finance, and many other fields.

The second phase of the Clean Tech Blueprint is to develop a virtual space where people and firms involved in clean tech can be plugged into business opportunities that exist regionally, nationally and internationally. Additionally, having a Web based networking presence can increase the synergy of the Nevada County clean tech economy.

Domestically, small fabricators in Nevada County may be able to supply the mounting brackets that attach solar panels to a roof, the engineering design for an inverter, or software for the and#8220;smart grid.and#8221;

In addition to domestic business, there are dynamic opportunities across the globe that may exist for firms in Nevada County.

For example, the largest solar power grid in the Middle East and North Africa, covering 55 acres, went online in early June in Abu Dhabi.

There is no reason why Nevada County firms cannot bid on the sub-contract work associated with such a large scale development, particularly value chain enhancement that can be delivered via the web.

An example of consultants who serve the world from Nevada County are Sam Vanderfoof, owner of Pacific Renewables Group, who spends almost half his time overseas consulting on renewable energy development and Kevin Whitlock, owner of Under the Trees, who has travelled as far as Africa and Turkey consulting on sustainable forestry practices.

Gil Mathew, the President and Director of the ERC believes that for Nevada County, the clean tech economy is well suited to our existing economic strengths.

and#8220;In the solar field, it may not be relevant for Nevada County to look to attract a large scale photovoltaic panel manufacturer.

However, we can readily provide a clean tech firm with five or six engineers or consultants. The clean tech labor demands match our market’s size and strong pointsand#8221; says Mathew.

Keith Logan is the owner of Logan and Associates, a sustainability consulting firm focusing on the interface of renewable energy and community development. He has lived in Nevada County since 1997.

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