Smart grid listings include Semprius
A study released this week shows the number of smart grid companies in the Research Triangle region has increased from 59 to 90 between 2011 and currently.
And one of those companies is in Vance County.
A smart grid is a network of entities that generate, distribute and transmit energy.
The Semprius solar manufacturing facility in Henderson contributes to the smart grid by producing a high concentration photovoltaic module.
Smart grid is a major emphasis of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster, a collaborative effort of businesses, governments, universities and nonprofits. Its purpose is to develop an economy that has a minimal negative effect on the environment, conserves energy and reduces the use of fossil fuels.
Charles Hayes, CEO of Research Triangle Regional Partnership, said smart grid is intended to make sure the electrical grid functions in a more intelligent way. “This region is one of the world leaders in the smart grid,” he said. “Semprius is a great example of a smart grid company.”
RTRP established the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster with the goal of making the Triangle region a leader in clean technology.
“The RTRP is the organization that recognized cleantech as an economic strength in this region and organized a program to leverage and grow this vibrant part of our economy,” Hayes said.
He pointed out the concept of cleantech includes several components, such as the electrical grid, water, transportation, wind energy and solar energy.
“Within this we looked to see what we are doing well,” Hayes said. “Smart grid is where we excel.”
Leadership in smart grid is attracting companies to the region, Hayes said.
“This growth is not just in the urban areas,” Hayes said. “There’s growth in the entire region.”
Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Director Stuart Litvin said the Semprius experience can serve as an example for other companies to follow in capitalizing on the assets of the entire region.
“It’s in their best interests to move production outside the area with high land costs,” he said. “We hope other companies will follow the Semprius model and move to areas like Vance County or one of the Triangle North Parks.”
Lee Anne Nance, managing director of RTCC, said, “The Research Triangle region is a global leader in cleantech and this study shows that this sector of our economy is growing in size and impact. Our region leads in cleantech, with hundreds of companies and thousands of employees engaged in creating the energy, water and transportation systems of the future.”
RTCC is moving in fast company. It is one of 13 clusters worldwide that make up the International Cleantech Network. This association gives RTCC the opportunity to work closely with clusters as near as Colorado and Canada and as far away as Europe and Singapore.
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