Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Announces Launch

LA Cleantech IncubatorThe Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) was officially opened earlier this week during a ceremony that included Mayor Villaraigosa.  LACI's mission is to accelerate the development of clean technology businesses and to create sustainable, well-paying jobs in the Los Angeles region. It was created through a collaboration of the Los Angeles Cleantech Alliance which includes the Mayor's Office, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Community Redevelopment Agency for Los Angeles and local education and research institutions: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, UCLA, USC, CalTech, and Arts Center College of Design.

"The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator is an important investment in the future of our great city," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "LACI will have an important role in developing new profitable businesses and creating jobs right here in LA. With this project, we take a big leap forward, toward a stronger and more sustainable economy that will help distinguish LA as a center of innovation and prosperity."

"Research shows that the best way to create jobs is to build new companies, and that is exactly our mission here at LACI. Our goal is to find and nurture up and coming clean technology companies and provide them with the tools and mentorship they need to succeed, including access to our growing network of government, business and education leaders. After just a month of being open, we already have two terrific portfolio companies and look forward to welcoming many more," said Fred Walti, executive director.

LACI currently has two portfolio companies: 350Green (developing electric vehicle charging networks) and Gridtest Stystems (producing test equipment for electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure).  Gridtest was recently selected as one of the winners in the California region of the 2011 Cleantech Open competition (Gridtest won the Transportation category).

Additional information on LACI, including the application process for join the incubator, is available on the LACI website.

– cross-posted from Green VC

Two Upcoming Deadlines for Green Entrepreneurs

A brief note on two upcoming deadlines on opportunities for green entrepreneurs:

May 30th is the deadline for the 2009 Clean Tech Open.  CTO is a business plan competition that will provide more than $1 million in prizes for early-stage clean technology startups.  CTO operates in three regions: California, Rocky Mountain (including Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and the Pacific Northwest (including Washington, Oregon and Idaho).

May 31 is the application deadline for a Cleantech Investor Pitch Lunch that will take place on June 13th.  This event will be held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California and will provide an opportunity for companies to present their businesses and network with VCs, angel investors, strategic partners, corporate investors, and industry experts.  This event is co-hosted by MIT Angels, MIT Club of Northern California, and OPEN Silicon Valley.

White House Middle Class Task Force to Focus on Green Jobs at May 26 Meeting in Denver

The White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families ("Middle Class Task Force") will hold its fourth meeting on May 26 in Denver, Colorado with a focus on "Building a Strong Middle Class Through a Green Economy."  This meeting is a follow-up to the first meeting of the Task Force, which took place on February 27 in Philadelphia and focused on green jobs.

Administration officials expected to attend today's event include Vice President Biden (Chair of Task Force), Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

This meeting will be held at 2 pm at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. According to the Denver Post, tickets will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 9 am in the Elevation Room of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1450 Glenarm Place, Denver.

For more information:

Michigan Green Jobs Conference to Take Place on May 11

Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow conference

Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow is the official green jobs conference for the State of Michigan. This event will take place on May 11 in Lansing and is presented by the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG). The conference will bring together business, education and training, labor, environmental, community- and faith-based, and policy advocacy partners and stakeholders who are currently working on developing a green economy and talent base in Michigan. 

This all-day event will take place at the Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI (directions) and will feature keynote presentations and breakout sessions.  You can review the conference agenda and online registration is available.

This conference is part of DLEG's $6 million green jobs initiative, which is desgined to:

  • Increase the number of green industries and businesses in Michigan.
  • Develop green education and training programs, spurring the growth of Michigan’s green economy.
  • Invest in worker education and training to prepare our workers for green jobs.
  • Support urban renewal by creating green jobs and training opportunities for a diverse mix of people.

DLEG is targeting these areas in its green jobs initiative:

  • Alternative Energy Production and Efficiency – including, but not limited to, jobs in wind energy; biofuels and bio-materials; solar storage and energy, energy efficiency, and advanced technology vehicles.
  • Green Building Construction and Retrofitting – including, but not limited to, jobs in energy efficient building, construction, and retrofits; energy efficiency assessment for residential, commercial, and industrial facilities; materials recycling and reuse; architecture and design; land use and site analysis; building materials; and construction/rehab.
  • Agriculture and Natural Resource Conservation – including, but not limited to, jobs in food systems; green chemistry; water quality; forest, land, and water management; and brownfield redevelopment.

DLEG's green jobs initiative is part of Governor Granholm’s No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) program. NWLB was announced on August 1, 2007 and has a goal of training 100,000 people in Michigan in three years for jobs in high demand occupations, emerging industries, or entrepreneurial endeavors.  NWLB provides up to two years of free tuition at any Michigan community college, university, or other approved training program, for qualifying participants.

For more information on the Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow conference:

Van Jones to Serve as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in White House Council on Environmental Quality

Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), announced on Monday that Van Jones will serve as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.  CEQ coordinates federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives.

Jones is the founder of Green For All, an national non-profit organization focused on creating green jobs in impoverished areas. He is also the co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change, and is the author of the 2008 New York Times best-seller, The Green Collar Economy

Jones has been a strong advocate for green jobs and participated in the recent White House Middle Class Task Force meeting on green jobs and has testified before Congress (videos below).  In his role at CEQ Jones will help to shape and advance the Obama Administration’s energy and climate initiatives, with a specific focus in improvements and opportunities for vulnerable communities.

For more information:

“National Clean Energy Project” Outlines New U.S. Energy Strategy

On Monday, February 23rd an event entitled National Clean Energy Project: Building the New Economy took place in Washington, DC.  This event was hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund with the goal of developing a plan and key guiding principles for the evolution of U.S. energy policy.  This program served as a follow-up to the National Clean Energy Summit that took place in August 2008. 

This event was attended by high-level government, business, labor and advocacy group leaders including President William Jefferson Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), and energy executive T. Boone Pickens. 

Issues discussed at the event included modernizing and expanding the electricity grid and options to increase domestic sources of clean energy.  Video of the event (in three parts) is provided below.  In addition, policy documents associated with this event are available.

Economic Stimulus Legislation Approved by U.S. Senate and Sent to President Obama

Update: This bill was signed into law on Tuesday, February 17.

Today, the U.S. Senate approved the compromise version of economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1). This version was created by a House-Senate conference committee that met earlier this week to resolve differences between the different versions of the bill that had been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

As this legislation has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives it will now be sent to President Obama, who is expected to sign it by Monday, February 16.

As described previously, this legislation contains investments and tax credits to support clean energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs.  The following links provide access to the complete bill text and related documents:

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Conference Committee Version of Economic Stimulus Legislation

Update: This bill was signed into law on Tuesday, February 17.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the compromise version of economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1). This version was created by a House-Senate conference committee that met earlier this week to resolve differences between the different versions of the bill that had been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

This legislation contain investments and tax credits to support clean energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs, including:

Smart Grid/Advanced Battery Technology/Energy Efficiency

  • Provides more than $30 billion for energy initiatives such as a new, smart power grid, advanced battery technology, and energy efficiency measures, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  • Transforms the nation’s electricity systems through the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable.
  • Supports U.S. development of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems through loans and grants so that America can lead the world in transforming the way automobiles are powered.
  • Helps state and local governments make investments in innovative best practices to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce energy usage.
  • Spurs energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs

  • Provides $20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next 10 years.
  • Includes a three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for electricity derived from wind (through 2012) and for electricity derived from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and marine facilities (through 2013).
  • Provides grants of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new renewable energy facility to address current renewable energy credit market concerns.
  • Promotes energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.
  • Provides a tax credit for families that purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles of up to $7,500 to spur the next generation of American cars. 
  • Includes clean renewable energy bonds for State and local governments.
  • Establishes a new manufacturing investment tax credit for investment in advanced energy facilities, such as facilities that manufacture components for the production of renewable energy, advanced battery technology, and other innovative next-generation green technologies.

Landmark Energy Savings at Home

  • Provides $5 billion for landmark provisions to improve the energy efficiency of more than 1 million modest-income homes through weatherization.
  • This will save modest-income families on average $350 per year on their heating and air conditioning bills. 

Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits to HUD-Assisted Housing

  • Provides more than $4 billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally-supported housing programs.
  • Specifically, establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.
  • Also invests in energy efficiency upgrades in public housing, including new windows, furnaces, and insulation to improve living conditions for residents and lower the cost of operating these facilities.

Summary provided by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nanci Pelosi

For previous Green Collar Blog coverage of the economic stimulus legislation, please view these posts. The following links provide access to the complete bill text and related documents:

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Creates “Green Jobs Cabinet”

On January 21, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed an Executive Order directing key state agencies to create a "Green Jobs Cabinet" to support the state's clean energy and clean technology economic development and job creation activities.  The Green Jobs Cabinet will provide an initial report to the Governor by August 15, 2009.

The Green Job Cabinet will be chaired by Economic Development Secretary Fred Mondragon and will include Cabinet Secretaries from the Public Education Department, Higher Education, Workforce Solutions, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources, the Environment Department, and the Agriculture Department, as well as the State Investment Officer and a representative of the Governor’s Office.

Individuals can also sign-up via this link to be placed on the mailing list to provide input and receive updates on New Mexico’s Green Economy Initiative.

The full text of the Executive Order follows:


WHEREAS, Governor Richardson has declared New Mexico to be the “Clean Energy State” and has adopted a number of Executive Orders to promote and implement nation-leading policies regarding renewable energy development, energy efficiency and conservation, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, namely:

1) Executive Order 2004-19; Declaring New Mexico the “Clean Energy State,” Creating a Clean Energy Development Council and Directing State Agencies to Support and Participate.

2) Executive Order 2005-33; Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction.

3) Executive Order 2005-49; Requiring the Increased Use of Renewable Fuels in New Mexico State Government.

4) Executive Order 2006-01; State of New Mexico Energy Efficient Green Building Standards for State Buildings.

5) Executive Order 2006-69; New Mexico Climate Change Action.

6) Executive Order 2007-053; Increasing Energy Efficiency in State Government by 2015 and Statewide by 2012 and 2020.

7) Executive Order 2008-028; Establishing a Strong Telework and Flexible Work Hours Program to Help Reduce Fuel Use and Taxpayer Costs.

WHEREAS, New Mexico has led the nation in addressing climate change through the creation of the Western Climate Initiative, a coalition of 11 U.S. states and Canadian provinces which have agreed to adopt greenhouse gas reduction plans, pass clean car standards to reduce emissions from vehicles, and to design a regional cap-and-trade program that will foster a clean energy economy;

WHEREAS, the national economy is in a recession and New Mexico must protect the existing jobs of its citizens and capitalize on opportunities to stimulate economic activity and create good, new jobs;

WHEREAS, New Mexico has a long and profitable history of responsibly exporting energy, is located at the intersection of three major energy grids, is blessed with world-class renewable resources like solar, wind and geothermal, and should serve as a hub for our national renewable energy market;

WHEREAS, New Mexico has attracted significant private investment in clean energy and clean technology and is home to a substantial and growing cluster of clean energy companies;

WHEREAS, New Mexico has been ranked fourth in the nation in Technology Concentration and Dynamism, according to the Milken Institute’s 2008 State Technology and Science Index, and has a strong and active venture capital community;

WHEREAS, New Mexico is home to nation-leading universities and national laboratories with expertise in areas such as renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, biofuels, smart grid and “green grid” solutions;

WHEREAS, the incoming Federal administration has pledged to create 5 million new jobs by strategically investing at least $150 billion over 10 years to catalyze public and private efforts to build a clean energy future;

WHEREAS, energy efficiency, clean energy and clean technology jobs are good jobs, generally well-paid, place-based, difficult to lose to foreign competition, and are critical to a sustainable future; and

WHEREAS, New Mexico must continue to demonstrate leadership in developing a clean energy economy in order to effectively compete for the private and federal investments that will ensure the financial well-being of New Mexicans for years to come.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Bill Richardson, Governor of the State of New Mexico, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of New Mexico do hereby establish the Green Jobs Cabinet, which shall be instituted as follows:

1. The purpose of the Green Jobs Cabinet shall be to prepare a statewide strategic plan for clean energy and clean technology economic development and job creation. The Green Jobs Cabinet shall consider, and quantify where possible, opportunities and strategies addressing:

  • New Mexico’s unique and sustainable competitive advantages in clean energy and clean technology;
  • Manufacturing of renewable energy system components;
  • Installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy systems at distributed and utility scales;
  • Utility-scale renewable energy for export;
  • Green building and energy efficiency contracting for residential, commercial and institutional customers;
  • Regionally appropriate biofuels production, research and infrastructure;
  • Sustainable agriculture;
  • Research and development, commercialization and manufacturing of new clean energy and “green grid” technologies and solutions, identified by New Mexico’s Science and Technology Plan, for deployment in New Mexico and outside the state;
  • Statewide “green” workforce development pathways and coordination to ensure that all New Mexicans are well prepared for existing and future clean energy jobs. This may include the development of new curricula, educational and training programs, and communication of those programs between secondary and postsecondary education, and industry;
  • Strategies to mitigate negative impacts on New Mexico’s economy associated with increasing fuel costs; and
  • Opportunities to raise New Mexico’s profile and attract out-of-state public and private investment.

2. Membership of the Green Jobs Cabinet shall consist of:

a. the Secretary of the Economic Development Department, or designee, shall serve as Chair;
b. the Secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, or designee;
c. the Secretary of the Department of Workforce Solutions, or designee;
d. the Secretary of the Higher Education Department, or designee;
e. the Secretary of the Public Education Department, or designee;
f. the Secretary of the Environment Department, or designee;
g. the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, or designee;
h. the State Investment Officer, or designee; and
i. the Governor’s Advisor on Energy and Environment, or designee.

3. The Green Jobs Cabinet shall consult with representatives of the New Mexico Partnership, the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, and other entities, including state agencies and local governments, as needed to implement this Order.

4. The Economic Development Department shall provide administrative support and staffing for the Green Jobs Cabinet.

5. The Green Jobs Cabinet shall seek input and recommendations from a wide range of stakeholders from the private and non-profit sectors to ensure development and implementation of a practical plan.

6. The Chair may form ad-hoc committees to address the work of the Green Jobs Cabinet.

7. The Green Jobs Cabinet shall prepare and present its plan for the Governor’s consideration no later than August 15, 2009. Thereafter, the Green Jobs Cabinet shall report to the Governor no later than July 1st of each year, unless otherwise directed by the Governor.

8. The Green Jobs Cabinet shall be an advisory body that makes recommendations to the Governor and in no event shall make final decisions regarding policy.

9. Green Jobs Cabinet members shall serve voluntarily and shall receive no pay for their services, nor shall they be reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses, unless otherwise provided for by law.

THIS ORDER supersedes any previous orders, proclamations, or directives in conflict. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until such time as it is rescinded by the Governor.