The Green Blue Collar Concept: Clean Energy
The City of Gonzales, already deeply committed to a sustainable future through its “Gonzales Grows Green” Sustainable Community Initiative (G3 Initiative), is partnering with Concentric Power to build its own microgrid, ensuring that the city’s packing houses and other businesses won’t be vulnerable to rolling blackouts or other emergencies. The city’s ambitious plans, under the leadership of Gonzales City Manager Rene Mendez, are being closely watched by other communities.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” Mendez told NBC in an interview. “Plus, from an environmental perspective, it helps us meet our carbon footprint goals.” Read more
Legislation introduced last week by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) could make it easier for local governments to build and deploy microgrids. The MICROGRID (Making Imperiled Communities Resistant to Outages with Generation that is Resilient, Islandable, and Distributed) Act seeks to incentivize microgrids, which could increase local resiliency in the face of widespread power outages and other emergencies.
And in southeastern Monterey County, Apple, Inc. plans to build one of the largest battery-based solar energy storage projects in the country.
The impact of green businesses has a compounding effect across many different interconnected relationships throughout the region, says Mynt Systems CEO Derek Hansen, who will speak on “Green Jobs: A Way out of the Recession?” at MBEP’s upcoming Economic Summit.
“When companies like Mynt decide to develop a new strategy for an entirely underserved market segment — in our case, mid-market commercial and industrial real estate — we don’t just simply create new jobs through the people that we hire as a company, but also across many spectrums due to market growth in a space that had yet to be tapped.”
For Mynt Systems, which specializes in commercial building performance, that might include technology developers and manufacturers, says Hansen. The secondary effect is that when end-user businesses cut operating costs and become more competitive and profitable, they grow and hire new workers.
“The New Blue Collar concept is one in which we are creating the opportunity for the electrician to now become a solar electrician, or the project manager to become a distributed generation project manager,” says Hansen. “These opportunities matter inasmuch as they are allowing for upward mobility in learning and income; while one industry is being disrupted by outsourcing it can be made up for with a shift into the ever-expanding New Energy space.
News courtesy of NBC, Reuters, Monterey Herald