Notable startups: Solaicx, SolarWorld, GreenPrint.
Focus: Solar manufacturing and where information technology meets green.
Besides being every transit planner’s dream come true (the city prioritized compact development and mass transit), Portland has made itself one of the best places to be a “green” business in the country. Its new Bureau of Planning and Sustainability brings together the economic development and planning arms of the city’s sustainability initiatives. (They were previously separate departments, which is not always great for communication and working together.)
In addition to innovative grants that support renewable energy and a big push to be the first EV-ready U.S. city, Portland plans to use stimulus funds to roll out its own Clean Energy Fund this month, which will fund residential energy retrofits. An emphasis on buying and selling local, abundance of natural resources, low taxes and property prices, and access to a sustainably minded talent pool (thanks to Portland State University and the University of Oregon) rounds out the benefits for Portland-based cleantech companies, which currently include solar companies Solaicx and SolarWorld as well as software developer GreenPrint. The next big fish for the city could be Norway-based Think Automotive, which scoped out the area as part of its recent site search.
Image credit: StuSeeger.