RICHLAND, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee visited Tri-Cities to preview the climate agenda for the 2023 session. A new clean energy movement is going to start in the Tri-Cities, which could impact the whole country.
Tri-Cities officials are calling the region an epicenter and a nexus location to create the future of clean energy. It’s coming to the WSU Tri-Cities campus, with more professors and more collaboration focused on a clean energy institution.
“The Tri-Cities is the center of intellectual capability technologically, maybe in the United States as far as per capita of engineers,” explained Gov. Inslee.
The governor, university officials, PNNL and others are launching the Institute of Northwest Energy Futures (INEF).
“The Institute for Northwest energy futures will serve, not ‘can serve,’ will serve as a research powerhouse here in the Tri-Cities to really start addressing some of these issues,” said WSU President Kirk Schultz.
These issues being the need for clean energy expansion.
“The world has to invent new fossil free methods of energy, and it’s going to look right here to WSU Institute for Northwest Energy Futures,” said Gov. Inslee.
The area has already become a nexus of clean energy innovation, and officials said a new institute will bring together research partners, scientific bodies, utilities and private enterprises to plan for an expansion in clean energy.
“That’s an opportunity we have to continue to be national and international leaders in this particular space,” said Schulz.
Local agencies focus on hydropower, wind power, solar power, hydrogen and biomass that can be converted into alternative fuel sources.
This institute is looking to bring all of these resources together.
“The Institute for Northwest Energy Futures will build on student’s knowledge by enhancing the energy curriculum that we have already put into place,” said Sandra Haynes, WSU Chancellor.
WSU’s INEC is looking to hire 8-10 professors.
“People of the world are going to look to this place to solve this worldwide problem,” said Gov. Inslee.
“Do we want to be known as the center of the universe for energy? Yes,” said Matt Boehnke, Washington State Representative.
Recently, Washington has passed cap and trade legislation, future zero-emission vehicle requirements, clean fuel standards, efficient building code standards and more in the direction of clean energy.
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