H&A releases new H&A Legislative and Incentive Update, previews 2014

Today, Hickey & Associates released their H&A Legislative and Incentive Update – 2013 Recap and 2014 Look Ahead, a comprehensive review of the major state legislative activities related to business incentives and economic development over the past year. In addition, the new report previews policies that are expected to be introduced in upcoming legislative sessions next year. To access a complimentary copy of the H&A 2013 Legislative and Incentive Update, please click on the following link: H&A 2013 Legislative and Incentive Update.

Please join H&A for a webinar discussing the many new programs and policies covered in the H&A Legislative and Incentive Update – 2013 Recap and 2014 Look Ahead. During the webinar, participants will learn directly from H&A legislative and policy experts on the new laws and policy shifts over the previous year, as well as, take a look at what’s to come in 2014. To register for the webinar on Wednesday, December 18th at 1:00 PM ET, please click on the following link: Register Here.

 

H&A Legislative and Incentive Update – 2013 Recap and 2014 Look Ahead
FREE WEBINAR
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT
REGISTER HERE
 

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H&A President featured in international incentives article

siteselectionimageH&A’s President, Jason Hickey, was recently a guest columnist in Site Selection magazine, an international publication focused on corporate real estate strategy & area economic development. Along with Andreas Dressler, managing director of Berlin, Germany-based Terrain, a corporate location advisory firm and a division of Conway Data, Inc., the two global leaders in site selection and public incentive advisory discussed many of the ongoing dynamics of government incentives around the world.

The full article is below. To view the article on the Site Selection magazine website, please click the following link: Making the Most of Incentives Opportunities.

Making the Most of Incentives Opportunities

INCENTIVES UPDATE

by ANDREAS DRESSLER with JASON HICKEY

editor@siteselection.com

Public financial support for business is a common practice in most parts of the world as governments try to encourage corporate behavior that is beneficial to the economy and society at large. While there is disagreement about the economic benefits of government incentives, there is no doubt that these have an influence on corporate investment activity.

This influence is particularly strong — and sometimes controversial — in the case of incentives designed or used to affect corporate location decisions. Particularly in the United States but also in many other areas of the world where competition among locations for corporate investment is strong, incentives have become an established part of the location selection process. Many companies value the financial benefits provided by governments and have incorporated these in their decision making for selecting new locations.

Despite the importance assigned to incentives, companies do not always take full advantage of the benefits that are available to them. There are two ways in which companies may be leaving money on the table:

1. Companies do not receive the benefits to which they are entitled.

Contrary to popular belief, governments do not simply give money away. Public incentives such as tax credits or grant programs come with strings attached in the form of reporting and performance requirements that companies must meet in order to secure benefits. Companies sometimes fail to fulfill the administrative procedures involved, which can be very burdensome and time consuming. Training grants, for example, usually require extensive reporting to document that all employees receiving training are eligible for funding. The same is true for incentives related to specific types of capital spending, which require companies to provide detailed records of items purchased as part of a capital expenditure program. In the recent economic downturn, some companies have not been able to meet the performance requirements included in their incentive agreements.

Organizational issues may also prevent companies from securing the benefits to which they are entitled. A typical scenario involves companies that have received an incentives package for a new investment or expansion. Once the incentives agreement has been concluded, the responsibility for administering and securing the benefits over the course of the investment is not directly assigned internally, causing the company to miss out on incentive payments that were part of the incentives agreement. This is often the case in companies where the team leading the site selection and incentives negotiations moves on to other projects and has no further contact to local staff at the new facility, who may be in the post position to administer the incentives secured for the investment.

2. Companies are not aware of the incentives opportunities available to them.

In some cases, companies are simply not aware that incentives exist to support a particular activity. In the European Union, for example, the range of activities for which incentives are available is seemingly endless, and includes everything from R&D and product development to employee training and investments in energy efficiency. To put this into numbers, the overall budget for European Union funding programs for the period from 2014 to 2020 amounts to €960 billion. Although a large part of this is allocated to agriculture and infrastructure spending, the budget also includes €91 billion for “improving European competitiveness” and €70 billion in research and innovation grants for researchers throughout Europe. This funding will be disbursed through innumerable programs administered by government agencies at the European, national, regional and local levels. In the US, a 2012 review of business incentives by the New York Times estimated that state and local governments provide $80.4 billion in incentives each year through 1,874 different programs.

Even for companies that actively seek and track government funding opportunities, it is easy to miss opportunities for new incentives or changes to programs that may affect existing agreements. However, not all incentives programs are equally attractive and companies must weigh the potential benefits against the effort and cost of applying. Some companies choose not to take advantage of incentives opportunities at all, because the application procedure would slow down or delay their plans.

When entering into an incentive agreement with a particular government, the company is establishing a public/private partnership with the community. In developing this partnership, it is critical to work closely with the government and community officials to identify all opportunities that may be available for the company. While most incentive programs may be discovered through research of economic development websites and promotional materials, there are often opportunities that communities may offer companies that are based on discretionary authority.

Often, companies don’t realize incentive opportunities extend beyond job creation and/or new capital investment. Many governments are offering incentives targeted at the retention of employees at a facility. Governments offer these incentive programs to provide assistance for companies to grow in their existing location and help make the business case more attractive for them to remain.

Missed Opportunities

There are a few key reasons why companies are unable to take advantage of incentives already available to them or are not aware of the opportunities that exist.

As indicated above, the sheer number and diversity of incentive programs makes it difficult for any company to be aware of all opportunities. Even government agencies may not be familiar with every program offered by other agencies or levels of government.

Another challenge is that incentives are rarely a formal corporate function. Smaller companies in particular are often unable to take advantage of incentives opportunities because they lack the resources and time. While some large companies may have a person or small department responsible for securing and administering incentives (often based in the company’s tax or finance department), this type of specialized incentives role tends to be an exception.

Even where a dedicated incentives function exists, the diverse nature of incentives means that coordination among the various departments that are involved in incentives is essential. Depending on the particular incentive program, this could include human resources (for hiring and training incentives), real estate (for facility investments and expansions), R&D (for research related programs), manufacturing (for new capital expenditure programs), procurement (to document purchases) and several others. This need for coordination is compounded in companies with a large geographic footprint, where a centralized approach to managing incentives is often impossible. The various functions and individuals must be identified and in place prior to undertaking the compliance and administration phase of an incentive agreement.

Simple Solutions

There is no data to quantify how much money is actually being left on the table. However, project experience and anecdotal experience suggest that even the most sophisticated companies may not be making the most of the incentives opportunities available to them. The following are a few simple ways in which companies can reduce the risks of this happening:

  • Understand the agreement before final execution — the ultimate incentive value potential and compliance requirements are usually dictated in the incentive agreement contract. Companies should ensure that the final language is fully vetted and understood by the key decision-makers of the project.
  • Assign an internal specialist for incentives — even if a company cannot afford to hire someone specifically for the role, it is important to have a single go-to person that is responsible for incentives across different functions.
  • Introduce a process for coordination among departments — an internal “task-force” consisting of representatives of relevant departments and geographical locations should speak regularly to ensure that all incentives are being taken advantage of.
  • Review big-ticket expenditures — all expenditures over a certain amount should be automatically assessed in advance to determine whether they may trigger opportunities for government support.
  • Track programs in existing locations — companies should keep an eye on existing programs in locations where they have operations to ensure that they are not missing changes that could create opportunities or affect incentives agreements that are already in place.

What can companies do when they realize that they have in fact missed an opportunity? In cases where this relates to a project or investment that has already begun the answer is: very little. Although some tax credits can be claimed retroactively, most incentives programs must be applied for before the activity for which support is being sought actually commences. In both Europe and the US, for example, ordering equipment or securing property before applying for incentives is likely to make a facility investment or expansion ineligible for government support.

If a company realizes early enough that it will not meet an existing incentives program’s performance requirements, it is advisable to be open with government officials and work with them to address the situation. In our experience, most government agencies understand that a company’s situation may change and are interested in helping companies to manage the impact on their incentives agreements.

There is a sometimes-held notion that individual companies ask for handouts or push governments to provide them with incentives. In reality, most incentives programs have been created by governments to meet specific policy objectives and are equally available to all companies that meet the eligibility requirements. It is up to each company to determine whether and to what degree to take advantage of these opportunities.

Andreas Dressler is managing director of Berlin, Germany-based Terrain, a corporate location advisory firm and a division of Conway Data, Inc. He can be reached at ad@terrain-global.com.

Jason Hickey is president of Hickey & Associates, a full-service site selection firm based in the United States. Jason can be reached at jhickey@hickeyandassociates.com.

H&A’s David Hickey quoted on promotion of Jacksonville region in London

H&A’s Senior Manager of Europe, David Hickey, was recently quoted in a Trade and Florida Times-Union article on the Jacksonville region’s economic development promotion activities in London. Hickey, who is currently leading H&A’s European expansion efforts, discussed the great opportunity the region has for international promotion in coordination with the Jacksonville Jaguars, an NFL franchise scheduled to participate over the next four seasons in the NFL’s International Series at London’s Wembley Stadium.

“It’s exciting for the Jacksonville region to be able to use this platform to showcase what Jacksonville has to offer,” he said. “They were on a platform that they didn’t have before, utilizing the Jaguars and NFL football to have an opportunity to be in London.”

The full article is below. To view the article on the Florida Times-Union website, please click the following link: City business leaders follow game plan for London, but results won’t show right away.

City business leaders follow game plan for London, but results won’t show right away

Oct 26, 2013

By: Andrew Pantazi

Maybe London will offer success, hope, a future. Probably not for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ season, but maybe for the First Coast’s economy.

City and Chamber of Commerce executives have been meeting with business leaders in London this past week hoping that, regardless of how the Jaguars perform, the delegation will bring some success to Jacksonville, namely jobs.

They met with a solar-energy company from Ireland. They met with a “site-selection” company that helps businesses relocate. They met with an aviation company, a property company, a software company and Greencore, an Irish company that, according to Bloomberg News, “manufactures” more sandwiches than anyone in the world.

The Jacksonville delegation traveled across London to places like the Parliament, the Tower of London and inside the Churchill War Rooms, a bunker where the British prime minister led war efforts while London was under attack.

City Council President Bill Gulliford said from London on Friday: “Is it tough? Yes, we just don’t have the exposure. … We’re not Orlando, we’re not Miami, we’re not Fort Lauderdale, all those known names. But I think we’ve got a great opportunity.”

It could be months before it’s clear how well they did, but JAX Chamber President Daniel Davis said he thinks it was a success.

“We have corporate leaders here who are all singing off the same sheet of music,” he said. “We’re not going to rest.”

The next step is bringing the business leaders to Jacksonville, keeping contact, maybe traveling to London again, before next year’s game.

WHY GO TO LONDON?

Mike Breen, a chamber official who works to bring overseas businesses to Jacksonville, said before the trip: “Our plans are, now, to coordinate with the Jaguars and to do this on an annual basis. We travel for these kinds of missions to Europe and Asia, but the ability to tie it in with an event like this gives it even more value.”

He pointed out that French-based battery manufacturer Saft and Brazilian-based aircraft manufacturer Embraer are examples of companies that created jobs in Jacksonville because of trips like this.

“We identify companies that are considering establishing or locating in the United States in the next three years,” he said.

Before he left for London, Gulliford said he was going to sell the city for its climate and its business-friendly atmosphere.

“It’s getting pretty crowded. Jacksonville’s a little different environment than the rest of Florida. It’s got a laid-back appeal.”

Trips like these offer “a hook,” as John Woodward, director of foreign investment at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, called it. The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks play in London on Jan. 16, and the Atlanta Falcons NFL team will play in London next fall. “Your city name is going to be right on the building, same with us with the Atlanta Hawks. That exposure and that messaging … raises awareness.”

While in London, Davis said he was riding in a taxi when he came across a group of fans dressed in teal and black, shouting into a bullhorn, “promoting the city of Jacksonville.”

“And I roll down the window,” he said, “and I shout, ‘Go Jags.’ ”

JAGS HOPE LONDON WILL BRING MONEY

Bookmakers list the San Francisco 49ers as 16- or 17-point favorites over the Jaguars, but Jaguars President Mark Lamping said earlier that London offers not only the city, but the team a chance at making money.

“London will certainly generate significantly more revenue than if we played that game here in Jacksonville,” he said. “It also creates an awareness of the team and the community.”

Lamping said the team is still focused on what he calls the “core market,” the counties surrounding Jacksonville plus Central Florida and South Georgia, but the NFL cut a special deal with the Jaguars. The team has special rights to British sponsorships (and money). At the beginning of 2013, the Jaguars assigned a full-time employee to London.

The NFL wants the Jaguars visiting London, Lamping said, because it answers a big question: Can the NFL expand to the United Kingdom?

“Can a team that has a very, very low following grow a fan base by being over there four years in a row?” Lamping said. If so, that helps the NFL decide “what the long-term plan is.”

Besides, if businesses create more jobs in Jacksonville, he said, that’s more people who can afford the Jaguars’ season tickets.

Daniel Dawson, spokesman for the chamber, said: “The football game is a great punctuation mark to the end of what’s going to be a very busy but very productive economic development visit.”

HOW OTHER CITIES DID

When the Jaguars compete against the San Francisco 49ers, the JAX Chamber won’t have to worry about competing with the San Francisco or Santa Clara chambers. Neither decided to make the trip.

“We’re really focused on the Super Bowl in 2016,” said Santa Clara chamber President Steve Van Dorn. Besides, he said, his area doesn’t need help bringing business in from Europe.

When the Minnesota Vikings played the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 29, five tourism and economic development groups from the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas traveled to London at the same time as a group from Pittsburgh.

Mostly, Meet Minneapolis spokeswoman Kristen Montag said the tourism representatives met with travel agent groups to persuade Britons to visit. Minneapolis already has connections with the United Kingdom, she said.

The tourism groups paid to send Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman to London.

Jacksonville taxpayers are paying for Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown’s, Gulliford’s and city economic development director Ted Carter’s travel. The plane and game tickets cost about $10,700, and hotels were estimated at $7,776. The total costs won’t be known until after the trip.

David Hickey, the head of European operations at Hickey and Associates, has hosted Pittsburgh’s and Minneapolis’ delegations — and now Jacksonville’s. He said they did well keeping on “one message.”

“It’s exciting for the Jacksonville region to be able to use this platform to showcase what Jacksonville has to offer,” he said. “They were on a platform that they didn’t have before, utilizing the Jaguars and NFL football to have an opportunity to be in London.”

HOW JACKSONVILLE FARED

On Friday, Gulliford said, “I’m one of these wild guys who could let his mind go crazy. If we can get some European business here, then maybe we can get a nonstop flight from here to London.”

The last time Jacksonville regularly offered nonstop flights to London was before Sept. 11, 2001.

“We are constantly looking at air-traffic development,” said Jacksonville Aviation Authority spokesman Michael Stewart. “It’s not a matter of selling the route. We have a pretty good handle on the number of people who travel from Jacksonville to international locations.”

The numbers just don’t support it, Stewart said.

After meeting with Deutsche Bank’s London leaders last week, Gulliford said he suspects they’ll bring more jobs to Jacksonville soon.

Deutsche Bank set up its American operations center in Jacksonville five years ago.

Brown, in a video after the meeting, said, “We’ve been well received, and I think we’re going to have a great opportunity to bring jobs to Jacksonville.”

Gulliford agreed.

“I think we will see some long-term results,” he said. “Everybody is on the same page. We’ve made a strong pitch to the community. We have some that are making arrangements to see us. One in December.”

H&A President featured at economic development conference

Jason Hickey, H&A’s President, was a featured speaker at today’s Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) 2013 Fall Conference. Being held at the Newport News Marriott at City Center, the annual VEDA Fall conference brought together an assortment of leaders from Virginia’s economic development community, including a number of key business representatives. According to the conference organizers, this year’s event focused on global best practices, defined strategies in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and offered a practical dialogue for local implementation in the pursuit of international projects.

Hickey first spoke to the conference attendees on current FDI trends into the United States. As the global leader in corporate site selection and public incentive advisory, Hickey discussed the developments he sees in the field with his clients and the ever-increasing interest in foreign investment into the United States. Later in the morning, Hickey moderated an exciting roundtable discussion titled, “The Corporate Investment Decision-making Process ”.

For more information on the event, please visit the VEDA website: VEDA Fall 2013 Fall Conference.

H&A Releases Oct 2013 Incentive Legislation Update

oct 2013 leg updateH&A released their newest installment of their highly anticipated incentive legislation update, a comprehensive review of new federal and state laws and regulations regarding public incentives and economic development policies. To access a copy of the H&A Legislative Update – Oct 2013 Edition, please click on the following link: H&A Legislative Update – Oct 2013 Edition.

Please join H&A for a complimentary webinar discussing the many new programs and policies covered in the H&A Incentive Legislation Update – Oct 2013 Edition. During the free webinar, participants will learn directly from H&A legislative and policy experts on the new laws and policy shifts in the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

To register for the webinar on Thursday, October 24th at 1:00 PM ET, please click on the following link: Register Here.

Governor Christie signs new economic development legislation into law

H&A GrowNJ Program Incentive Legislation Action SheetToday, Governor Chris Christie signed critical economic development legislation into law. The new law is a legislative modification of the Grow New Jersey Assistance Act expanding the Grow New Jersey income tax credit program. The first round of applications are expected to be reviewed at the January 2014 Economic Development Authority Board Meeting.

H&A has prepared an Incentive Legislation Action Sheet detailing the new provisions. Please click on the following link to review the modifications to the Grow New Jersey Assistance Act: H&A GrowNJ Program Incentive Legislation Action Sheet.

For additional information on the program guidelines and application, please contact H&A at (800) 840-8850 or via email at info@hickeyandassociates.com.

H&A’s Will Cox cited in article on clean industry initiatives

H&A Senior Associate Will Cox was recently quoted in a Trade and Industry Development article on clean industry initiatives. Cox, who has extensive experience in renewable energy and green incentives, discussed the great opportunities presented from clean technologies:

“You’ll see growth opportunities as the technology grows,” said Will Cox, senior associate at Hickey & Associates, a site selection and public incentive management company. “For example, solar photovoltaic is coming close to the $1 per watt magic number, so you’ll see more homes and retail capacities integrated with smart grid technologies, which is a natural fit for cost savings. Ultimately, clean industry initiatives just make sense, offering good, high-paying jobs that have applications in other industries and spin-off opportunities.”

The full article is below. To view the article on the Trade and Industry Development website, please click the following link: Clean Industry Initiatives: Clean Industry Initiatives: Communities and Companies Enjoy Many Benefits.

Clean Industry Initiatives: Communities and Companies Enjoy Many Benefits

20 Jul, 2013

By: Jennifer Alten

Switchgrass is used as a biomass crop for ethanol and butanol, in phtoremediation projects, fiber, electricity and heat production.

Whether you call it clean industry initiatives or simply going green, communities and businesses around the country are focusing on ways to conserve energy and other resources. This includes using renewable and sustainable materials for power as well as commerce. And ultimately, this focus on clean industry initiatives is benefitting both the economic and terrestrial climates in communities nationwide.

Turning Waste into Resources

Businesses that turn waste such as manure or sustainable vegetation into energy and other bio-based products are thriving throughout the country.

Genera Energy, located outside of Knoxville in Vonore, Tennessee, is involved in all aspects of the supply chain for biofuels, biopower and bio-based industries. The company uses sustainably grown biomass energy crops such as switchgrass using land not generally suitable for food crops.

It grew out of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation in 2008. Along with operating a cellulosic Ethanol biomass refinery, it has a biomass innovation park that focuses on supply side as well.

“This location is ideal for Genera Energy because the Southeast region is a tremendous source of this affordable, sustainable biomass – with the emphases being on sustainable. We don’t want to compete with prime cropland or material that has other high-value uses. Plus, we value the collaboration opportunities with University of Tennessee and the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” said Genera Energy President and CEO Kelly Tiller.

Vonore, Tennessee-based Genera Energy pioneered a way to use underutilized, marginal land to grow sustainable crops like switchgrass – and then use that for biogas and other bio-based products.

“Also, the state has recognized this investment as a great way to grow a rural economy. Tennessee has been early to recognize the potential impact agricultural income and ag-sector prosperity, which is a huge advantage,” she added.

In central Missouri’s Moberly area, several businesses are taking advantage of the abundant manure from the many farms and turning it into energy and other byproducts.

“Azztec is in the testing stages of taking animal manure and separating the liquid to be used as a fertilizer and the remaining solid to be pressed in to pellets to be used as a bio-fuel to be burned for heating,” said David Gaines, vice president at the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation.

“We take waste products which would otherwise be considered hazardous, such as chicken manure, and convert them into reusable commodities,” said Azztec CEO Paul Koenig. “Through PH manipulation, we steer most of the valuable fertilizer nutrients and metals into the liquid while leaving a biomass cake. That cake is now a clean burnable that can be converted to clean energy.”

The company’s first test pilot project was located just outside of Moberly in Monroe City, Missouri. Besides ready access to the biomass, Koenig said a big draw to the region is a high-quality workforce with reasonable wages, access to two international airports and the state’s aggressive export program for these clean energy pellets.

In Triplett, Missouri, also part of the Moberly region, Hampton Alternative Energy grew out of the Hampton Feed Lot. Hampton Alternative Energy collects manure from 2,400 head of cattle and uses an induced blanket reactor anaerobic digester to turn that into methane gas. It then uses a generator to turn the methane into electricity that powers the feed lot, with the excess being sold to Kansas City Power and Light. The byproduct is sold as a beneficial fertilizer for organic farming.

Biomass Power also Provides Security by Reducing Reliability on the Grid

In southwest Georgia’s Dougherty County, a unique landfill gas-to-energy project takes methane gas from a local landfill and converts it to electricity to power the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) in Albany, Georgia.

A joint gas-to-landfill project with Dougherty County, Georgia, the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, and Chevron Energy Solutions turns methane gas from a nearby landfill into energy to power the base.

“As U.S. Navy’s first landfill gas cogeneration plant, it’s a partnership between Dougherty County and the base,” said Scott Addison, P.E., director of the Dougherty County Solid Waste Department. “It provides approximately 22 percent of the base’s power.”

The plant is being run in conjunction with Chevron Energy Solutions, which developed, designed and managed construction of the plant and will maintain the landfill gas-to-energy facility, pipeline and processing equipment.

“This project offers significant benefits to the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps and Dougherty County,” said Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, MCLB Albany. “Chevron Energy Solutions has helped us surpass federal renewable energy goals in our pursuit of becoming the ‘greenest’ Marine Corps installation in the nation. Not only does the use of this renewable power improve the base’s energy security and reliability, it also creates a valuable long-term source of revenue for the county. This is a win-win-win.”

Business and Innovation Driving Biomass

As seen with Genera Energy, business development and the heavy-duty backing from research institutions is helping to make clean industry a viable and profitable sector.

In Knoxville, Tennessee, not far from Genera Energy’s headquarters, the Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus is in development. Backed by approximately $100 million in capital investment and infrastructure, the site is attracting companies that can benefit from the campus’ direct connections with the University of Tennessee’s Joint Institute for Advanced Materials and the nearby Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

“This research and development business campus offers unprecedented access to the most powerful tools available in materials science and high-performance computing, coupled with access to internationally renowned researchers in a variety of specializations,” said Cliff Hawks, president and CEO of the Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus. “It will spur further clean industry development in the area.”

Azztec located a test facility in Moberly, Missouri. The company developed a way to separate manure into liquid fertilizer and clean-burning biomass cakes.

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus is hoping to attract companies similar to LED North America, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. LED North America provides affordable, technologically advanced commercial LED lighting solutions for applications such as roadways, parking lots and indoor high bays. The company was founded in 2008 in an incubator facility at ORNL.

Wind and Solar Energy is Still Making an Impact

Wind energy is another staple of clean industry initiatives, from manufacturing the parts to energy generation.

Ponca City, Oklahoma, 90 minutes northwest of Tulsa, has several wind projects taking advantage of the area’s abundant wind. The area’s local Kaw Nation tribe is partnering with four other tribes to develop a 90-turbine wind farm on tribal trust lands in Chilocco, Oklahoma, about 20 miles from Ponca City. It’s expected to add 153 megawatts of power to the Southwest’s grid.

Oklahoma ranks sixth overall in wind capacity and wind power totals 10.5 percent of the state’s total electrical generation.

The Kaw Nation created Southwind Energy and is also partnering with Ponca City to assemble and install wind and solar-powered lighting in the area, including lighting for large parking lots in shopping, medical and business centers.

“Designed to operate with no line voltage, trenching or metering, the units will offer significant benefits over traditional grid-based electrical lighting [thereby] reducing pollution, power consumption and carbon dioxide emissions,” said Katherine Long, marketing and research coordinator at the Ponca City Development Authority.

Ken Luttrell, director of public relations with the Kaw Enterprise Development Authority (KEDA), said, “The KEDA has been excited to bring innovative alternative energy technology to the area. The Kaw Nation, known as The Wind People, has a long heritage and relationship with the south wind and a commitment to renewable green energy.”

The Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus, currently in development ini Knoxville, Tennessee, benefits from its close ties to the University of Tennessee, the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials nd the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

In the Midwest’s wind corridor, wind component manufactures are locating there because of the proximity to wind farms. Danish-based Vest Fiber located its only North American facility in Moberly, Missouri. It makes fiber composite fabric that is used on utility-scale windmills to make the “skin” that goes on the blade of the windmill.

Communities – And Businesses — Also Focusing on Clean

Not wanting to be left behind on the economic and environmental benefits of clean industry, communities throughout the U.S. are also going green.

One such area is College Park, Georgia. Located right outside of Atlanta, the small city of 14,000 actually has part of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, within its borders.

Several years ago, it installed Treepod Biofilters, a storm water filtration system developed by Santa Rosa, California-based KriStar Enterprises. Trees are planted on top of storm drains to cleanse storm water runoff of pollutants before entering the larger drainage system. In this case, the filtered water goes directly to a golf course pond and is used to irrigate the golf course.

College Park also partnered with Clean Energy Fuel to develop the Southeast’s large compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in 2008. Because the station is open to both commercial vehicles and the public, it fuels everything for airport shuttles to UPS trucks to refuse trucks.

At the grand opening, Interim City Manager Jim Smith said, “This new station is a golden opportunity not only to help improve local air quality, but to help save on fuel costs.”

“College Park is being responsible by embracing clean technology and working with business owners on how they can go green,” said Gerald Walker, College Park’s public information officer. “Even though we’re a small city, we’re making a big splash in terms of clean industry technology.”

Connie Lou Spec Building completed July 2013. 23,000 square-feet with energy efficient lighting, ground source heat pump and energy efficient insulation. Incentives available for the right company.

Local Businesses and Institutions are Following Suit

One College Park entity that is following in step with the city’s clean focus is Woodward Academy, the largest independent school in the continental United States. The school purchases units of green power from local utility College Park Power.

Woodward Academy began its support of clean industry initiatives with the LEED construction of its Jordan N. Carlos Middle School campus in 2003. It then continued with the LEED silver construction of its Joseph H. Moss Math and Science Hall in 2007.

“We feel an obligation to be an example to our students, parents and community of good stewards of sustainability,” said Kelly Sanderson, vice president for finance and administration and CFO at Woodward Academy. “We pay the premium for green power through the City of College Park, which is funded through our operating facilities budget.”

In Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Ponca City Development Authority created a “Lighten the Load Program.” It partnered with U.S. Energy Recovery to help area businesses reduce energy cost through the installation of energy efficient lighting. Nine companies took advantage of the program in 2012 and more are on board for 2013.

“These companies also quality for rebates from the local energy company and Federal tax credits back at end of the year. It’s a win-win situation,” said Katherine Long.

And in Albany, Georgia, in Dougherty County, a MillerCoors brewery located there was an early, enthusiastic adopter of green practices.

“The plant, which is one of Georgia’s heaviest water users, is replacing older water-treatment technology with UV sterilization, which will save water and energy,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, director of marketing and existing industries at the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “It has replaced keg-room refrigeration units with lower ozone-depleting fluorescent fixtures and replaced older high-energy, high-mercury lamps with new high-bay fluorescent fixtures. To top it off, the plant recycles or reuses 99.9 percent of its waste products.”

College Park, Georgia, installed Treepod Biofilters to filter runoff storm water, which is then used to irrigate a local golf course.

Regulation another Key Driver

Thirty seven states have implemented renewable portfolio standards, which is also driving the push toward clean industry initiatives. This includes mandates that public utilities have a portion of their energy come from renewable sources.

“You’ll see growth opportunities as the technology grows,” said Will Cox, senior associate at Hickey & Associates, a site selection and public incentive management company. “For example, solar photovoltaic is coming close to the $1 per watt magic number, so you’ll see more homes and retail capacities integrated with smart grid technologies, which is a natural fit for cost savings. Ultimately, clean industry initiatives just make sense, offering good, high-paying jobs that have applications in other industries and spin-off opportunities.”

“Sustainability initiatives have become a major driver in business and economic development. Companies are realizing that clean industry and sustainability initiatives are affecting companies’ bottom lines. It has become more than recycling. Companies are being sustainable by focusing on innovation, lowering costs, increasing productivity and saving consumers money. Clean industry is supporting this drive for sustainability,” added Cliff Hawks at the Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus.

H&A Principal to be featured at major Latin American conference

H&A Principal Ann Harts is set to be featured at the first annual Central American Nearshore Summit 2013 in Managua, Nicaragua. Hosted by PRONicaragua, the official investment and export promotion agency of the Government of Nicaragua, the event will assemble a number of industry experts to discuss the many Latin American business and investment opportunities. The event is also sponsored by other Latin American promotion agencies inclduing Invest in Guatemala, PROESA, FIDE, and CINDE

Harts, recognized as one of the fifty most influential executives in Latin America by Nearshore Americas, will be featured providing her decades of experience and expertise in the region. As a proven leader in corporate real estate, economic development and site selection, attendees will have the opportunity to learn from Harts about the dynamic economic environment in Latin America and how companies are navigating the ever-changing tides of commerce in the region.

For more information on the event, please visit the Central American Nearshore Summit 2013 website.

Central American Nearshore Summit 2013
November 7-8
Managua, Nicaragua

H&A tees off for the 2013 TCHFH Raise the Roof Golf Outing

H&A - 2013 Official Golf PhotoH&A was a proud sponsor of the 2013 Raise the Roof Tournament to support Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH). The annual golf outing at the Minneapolis Golf Club helps support TCHFH programs across the Twin Cities metropolitan area, including the placing of over 900 families in TCHFH homes since 1985 and assisting over 5,000 families facing foreclosure in Minneapolis.

On a lighter note, H&A Principal Mark Beattie led the H&A team to a -7 (65) round. When asked about his team’s performance, Mark said, “All the guys contributed with some drives, chips, and putts.” Mark also added, “The best part was we all enjoyed each other’s company at a great event for a great cause.”

This is the second consecutive year H&A has been a sponsor of the Raise the Roof Golf Tournament. For more information on the TCHFH, please visit www.tchabitat.org.

To learn more about the annual Raise the Roof Golf Tournament, please visit the Raise the Roof Golf Tournament website.