This initiative will position Hampton Roads as the premier destination for offshore wind companies to invest, while also creating new economic prospects for existing businesses, attracting new investments to the region, and sparking new permanent job creation.
NORFOLK, Va. (PRWEB) July 29, 2020
The Hampton Roads Alliance (the Alliance) is pleased to announce a new initiative to develop a comprehensive supply chain to serve the east coast offshore wind industry. This effort is made possible largely thanks to a Department of Housing & Community Development GO Virginia grant of $529,788 that will help fund the first two years of this effort. This initiative will position Hampton Roads as the premier destination for offshore wind companies to invest, while also creating new economic prospects for existing businesses, attracting new investments to the region, and sparking new permanent job creation.
“The Alliance is proud to be a key partner in the collective effort to bring offshore wind to the Hampton Roads region. We would like to sincerely thank Governor Ralph Northam and these Virginia General Assembly for leading the charge to bring renewable energy to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and GO Virginia for awarding the Alliance a grant which will be used to kick off our supply chain development initiative,” said Doug Smith, President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Alliance.
This initiative will entail efforts to both recruit offshore wind companies to establish operations in the region, while simultaneously identifying opportunities for existing Virginia businesses to become part of the supply chain. This effort will involve significant coordination and collaboration with local, regional and state partners, including the Virginia Division of Offshore Wind within the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). In support of this new initiative, the Alliance is pleased to announce the hiring of Matt Smith as the Director of Offshore Wind Business Development. In the spirit of collaboration, a hiring committee comprised of representatives from the Hampton Roads Alliance, Virginia DMME, Port of Virginia, Virginia Maritime Association and Portsmouth Economic Development conducted the search and selection of this new hire from a wide pool of candidates. The committee unanimously recommended Matt for the role and is excited to welcome him to the Alliance team.
Before joining the Alliance, Matt served as the Senior Regional Planner at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) and worked in the areas of strategic, environmental and comprehensive planning. Matt led efforts at the HRPDC on issues ranging from offshore wind to site development readiness. Matt came to the HRPDC from the City of Hampton’s Community Development Department where he helped begin Hampton’s resilience planning program.
Prior to his career in community development, Matt worked for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and for a research and consulting firm. Matt, a native of Hampton Roads, earned a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University and a B.A. in American History from Washington and Lee University.
“We are very excited to have Matt Smith join our team as our first Director for Offshore Wind Business Development,” said Brian K. Skinner, Chief Banking Officer for TowneBank and Chair of Alliance Board of Directors. “Matt comes to the Alliance with a history of serving the 757 region, and we look forward to the experience and passion he will bring with him to this inaugural role.”
“The Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy is pleased to have the Alliance as an important partner in the State’s burgeoning offshore wind industry,” commented Jennifer Palestrant, Chief Deputy, DMME. “Matt’s experience, along with his knowledge of the local business community and regional development opportunities, will serve this emerging industry well.”
“Virginia is positioned to be a leader in the offshore wind energy industry, and we are excited to partner with the Hampton Roads Alliance, DHCD and DMME on these initiatives to expand Virginia’s offshore wind supply chain,” said Stephen Moret, VEDP President and CEO. “It is through collaboration among state, local and regional organizations that we can recruit new business, growing this industry and creating economic opportunity in the Hampton Roads region and throughout the Commonwealth.”
“As offshore wind energy production and its supporting supply chain begin to take footing along the U.S. East Coast, the Hampton Roads Harbor and the existing maritime cluster is poised to be a key hub in this emerging industry,” remarked John F. Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director, Virginia Port Authority. “The Port of Virginia is pleased to see the Alliance establish an offshore wind supply chain development program, as well as the addition of Matt Smith as the Director of Offshore Wind Business Development. The Port of Virginia and the Alliance are strategic economic development partners, and we look forward to working with Matt to grow the offshore wind industry here in Virginia.”
“We are very happy to have Matt join the Alliance. His in-depth local knowledge, planning expertise and regional network will be invaluable in establishing our region as a major player in the East Coast offshore wind supply chain,” said Will Fediw, Vice President of Industry & Government Affairs, Virginia Maritime Association.
“From economics to workforce to infrastructure and industry planning, offshore wind will be a major aspect of our region’s future,” commented Robert D. Moore, Director, Portsmouth Economic Development. “The City of Portsmouth is excited to collaborate with our local, regional and national partners to ensure that the 757 is the preferred East Coast hub for the industry. Matt’s knowledge of the region and technical background will support those efforts.”
To further this new initiative, the Alliance is also establishing a European-based offshore wind economic development office. Located in Frankfurt, Germany, the Hampton Roads Alliance Offshore Wind Office will be staffed by experts who will engage with European-based companies and promote the assets of the region.
“We as the European arm of the Hampton Roads Alliance are thrilled to represent this initiative. As one of the first pioneers to help European offshore wind companies navigate through the U.S. and Hampton Roads, the Alliance will start by opening an office in Frankfurt,” said Andreas Paulicks, Director Europe, Hampton Roads Alliance Offshore Wind Office. “This decision is based on the fact that Europe and especially Germany are among the leading nations within the renewable energy industry and in particular offshore wind. The strong presence of renewable energy in Europe will bring great opportunities to support investments from Europe to Hampton Roads.”
Hampton Roads is uniquely positioned to support the growing $100 billion East Coast offshore wind industry. The region boasts unmatched port infrastructure, America’s largest and most skilled maritime workforce, no overhead bridge restrictions between key port facilities and the open ocean, and abundant waterfront land. Dominion Energy also recently completed installation of the first two turbines in Federal waters as part of its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project.
“Offshore Wind represents a once in a generation opportunity to bring an entirely new industry to the region,” said ReInvent Hampton Roads CEO & President, Jim Spore.
For further information or to secure an interview with Alliance President & CEO, Doug Smith, please contact Jillian Goodwin, Director of Marketing & Communications at email@example.com.
About the Hampton Roads Alliance
The Hampton Roads Alliance is the leading regional economic development organization for Hampton Roads, VA. It is a nonprofit, public-private partnership representing 11 localities and over 70 private sector investors. With the support of its community and business partners, the Alliance serves as the region’s single point of contact for regional economic development to assist domestic and international companies who are considering expansion or relocating to the Hampton Roads region. Its mission is to work collaboratively to attract, grow and retain higher-wage industries and talent to create a more resilient, inclusive and diverse region of choice.
GM Unveils Factory ZERO
General Motors says its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center will be known as Factory ZERO, reconfigured to an all-electric vehicle assembly plant.
The name Factory ZERO reflects the significance of this facility in advancing GM’s zero-crashes, zero-emissions and zero-congestion future. Factory ZERO will be the launchpad for GM’s multi-brand electric vehicle (EV) strategy. The facility has advanced technology and tooling and was designed with a focus on sustainable manufacturing. The GMC HUMMER EV pickup and the Cruise Origin, a purpose-built electric, self-driving, shared vehicle – and other GM EVs will be built at Factory ZERO. Production of the GMC HUMMER EV pickup will begin in late 2021.
“Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race and will be GM’s flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future,” says Gerald Johnson, executive vice president of global manufacturing at GM. “The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry.”
GM’s $2.2 billion investment in Factory ZERO will position the facility to build EVs at scale. It represents the single largest investment in a plant in GM history. Once fully operational, the plant will create more than 2,200 good-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Both the upcoming GMC HUMMER EV and the Cruise Origin will be built on GM’s Ultium battery platform. Ultium is flexible enough to build a wide range of EVs – cars, trucks and more – and is the heart of GM’s future EV lineup.
Factory ZERO is being transformed with sustainability in mind. During the plant’s physical transition, concrete waste was repurposed to create temporary roadways. The site also recycled stormwater to reduce discharge costs and offset the cost of potable water. Treated stormwater will be used in cooling towers and the fire suppression system. Recognized by the Wildlife Habitat Council, the site also features a 16.5-acre wildlife habitat and is home to species such as monarchs, foxes and turkeys.
GM is committed to sourcing 100% of its U.S. facilities with renewable energy by 2030, and all global facilities by 2040. All DTE-supplied GM facilities in southeast Michigan, including Factory ZERO, will be powered by renewable energy by 2023. The factory also features a 30 kW solar carport and 516 kW ground-mount photovoltaic solar array from DTE.
Volvo Trucks Receives Grants to Deploy VNR Electric Trucks in Southern California
Volvo Trucks North America was awarded $21.7 million in grants to deploy 70 VNR Electric trucks in Southern California for regional freight distribution and drayage.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Targeted Air Shed Grant Program is providing $20 million in funding, supplemented by $1.7 million from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) for charging infrastructure – to improve air quality in the region.
Volvo Trucks will deliver the EPA-funded VNR Electric trucks to Southern California fleet operators starting in 2021 through the third quarter of 2022, allowing for at least a full year of operations by the end of the project period in 2023. The announcement comes as Volvo Trucks nears the official commercial launch of its VNR Electric truck model later this year.
Volvo Trucks will leverage best practices learned from the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project – its collaboration with South Coast AQMD and 13 other organizations – to develop an end-to-end blueprint to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale. Combined with the other 25 truck deployments through the Volvo LIGHTS project, Volvo Trucks is committed to delivering nearly 100 VNR Electric trucks to the region for zero-emission freight transport.
“This grant provides Volvo Trucks with an excellent opportunity to further expedite the success of the ecosystem designed through the Volvo LIGHTS project to support the wide-scale deployment of battery-electric heavy-duty trucks,” says Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “We applaud the EPA and South Coast AQMD for addressing the key issues in advancing electromobility and incentivizing technology investments in the region, and are proud they continue to trust in Volvo Trucks North America in the acceleration of Class 8 zero-emission vehicles.”
The EPA Targeted Air Shed Grant Program focuses on the regions that have the highest ozone and particulate matter (PM) pollution, including California’s South Coast Air Basin. South Coast AQMD is the agency responsible for attaining state and federal air quality standards for this region – including the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and the Coachella Valley. As part of the project, South Coast AQMD will lead a data analysis effort to evaluate the full breadth of emission reduction opportunities presented by battery-electric trucks.
Volvo Trucks will also gather deployment data to further refine the total cost of ownership calculations including actual vehicle maintenance and fuel cost savings – which can be even lower when combined with low carbon fuel standard credits and managed charging to reduce demand charges. Learnings from this project will allow Volvo Trucks to fine-tune the production at its New River Valley plant in Virginia, enabling seamless integration of the VNR Electric truck model into its manufacturing process for optimized, quality production.
Photo: A Volvo VNR Electric recently led a clean-energy truck parade of Southern California fleet operators to commemorate the opening of the new Port of Long Beach bridge
CEC Approves Plan to Boost Adoption of Zero-Emission Vehicles
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved a $384 million plan for critical clean transportation investments to boost the adoption of zero-emission cars and trucks and help the state reach its climate, clean energy and public health goals. The plan focuses on closing gaps in zero-emission fuels and infrastructure to support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035.
“The zero-emission transportation market continues to be California’s for the making, delivering jobs and cleaner air especially in communities most in need of relief,” says Patty Monahan, lead commissioner for transportation. “This funding plan is another down payment on electrifying transportation while helping ensure everyone can take part through access to convenient refueling, innovative mobility options, workforce training programs and more.”
The 2020-2023 Investment Plan Update for the CEC’s Clean Transportation Program (formerly known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program) prioritizes funding for zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, related workforce development and manufacturing.
The approved plan includes:
-$132.9 million for light-duty electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure
-$129.8 million for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs and infrastructure
-$70 million for hydrogen refueling infrastructure
-$25 million for zero- and near-zero-carbon fuel production and supply
-$10 million for recovery and reinvestment
-$9 million for ZEV manufacturing
-$7.5 million for workforce development
The funds will become available over the next three years and will be distributed to projects through a mix of competitive funding solicitations and direct funding agreements. The plan was guided by input from newly appointed members of the Clean Transportation Program Advisory Committee, reflecting a broad array of stakeholders representing community-based organizations, social and environmental justice advocates, alternative vehicle technologies, as well as workforce and labor interests.
Investments reflect market potential and technological need and are designed to complement other state programs and policies. In response to engagement with the program advisory committee and the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group, the CEC will seek to provide 50% of funds from this plan to projects that benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities. Staff will also explore quantifying benefits in new ways that go beyond measuring funding amounts within a given location, to ensure the dollars meaningfully advance equity within the state.
Created by Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez) in 2007 and reauthorized by Assembly Bill 8 (Perea, 2013), the Clean Transportation Program is one of the first transportation-focused funding efforts established to help advance the state’s climate change policies. Now in its 12th year, the program has provided nearly $900 million to projects across the state covering a broad spectrum of alternative fuels and technologies.
Photo: Gov. Gavin Newsom
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