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February 11, 2014 > SOTU suggests Fremont is a microcosm of the ÒNew Energy EconomyÓ

SOTU suggests Fremont is a microcosm of the ÒNew Energy EconomyÓ

By Christina Briggs, Economic Development Manager

Last weekÕs State of the Union Address tackled many complex issues, but the focus on climate change and the green economy really struck a chord with us. There was a strong emphasis on the need for a diversified energy strategy and, as we have covered in previous blog posts, Fremont has established itself as a model in sustainability and the Ònew energy economy.Ó

We were particularly pleased to hear strong support for the solar industry, which is alive and well in Fremont, despite the broader industry challenges itÕs faced. Boston-based energy reporter Martin LaMonicaÕs article on GreenBiz.Com summarizes this portion of the speech. HereÕs why we think Fremont is, in fact, a microcosm of the new energy economy.

Industry Breadth: FremontÕs a hub for energy companies, including Tesla (Electric Vehicles), Gridscape Solutions (EV charger software), Delta Products (solar, EV chargers), Solaria (solar), Centrosolar (solar), Petersen-Dean (installation), DragonFly Systems (solar), Oorja Protonics (fuel cells), Leyden (batteries), Imergy (storage), Alchemy Power (wind), and many more.

Workforce: There are local training programs for the solar industry available (Unitek, Ohlone College, Mission Valley ROP).

Streamlined Permitting: An over-the-counter process for solar installations under 10kW is in progress.

Best Practices:
- Participation in American Solar Transformation Initiative, a DOE-funded effort to spur adoption of best practices by cities. Fremont has been featured in DOE publications for its solar programs.
- Participation in RREP (group solar purchase) for City facilities.
- Plan for possible micro-grid in the Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan.

We are a town of innovators, and we want to reflect that same spirit as a City. So we remain steadfast in our support for clean tech, knowing itÕs not only the right thing to do for our planet, but itÕs one of our highest prospects for economic growth.

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