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|Wednesday, February 29, 2012|
BY LINDA BAKER
Wandering around the new Vestas headquarters in the Pearl District the other day reminded me of Ozymandias, that Percy Bysshe Shelley poem about the inevitable decline of all things, no matter how mighty. But whether the mighty in this case refers to the wind industry, which grew exponentially over the past few years but now faces an uncertain future, or the oil and gas industry, which has flourished for decades but is now up against a changing world, I cannot say.
What I can say is the City of Portland is continuing to bet on the potency of the wind energy sector. Last month, the Portland Development Commission voted in support of a $1.1 million grant to help keep the North American headquarters of energy developer Iberdrola Renewables in Portland. Vestas A/S, the Danish wind turbine-maker that has its U.S. headquarters in Portland, received an $8.1 million, 15-year interest-free loan from the city two years ago for its $66 million Pearl District headquarters that is slated to open this spring.
Although uncertainties over federal energy policy—not to mention the revamping of Oregon’s Business Energy Tax credit last year —may limit that investment, PDC remains “firmly committed” to building a local clean energy cluster, said agency director Patrick Quinton. “We view our investment as a long-term bet."
Quinton said aggressive renewable energy mandates will continue to grow the sector and that “fundamentals” are not what drives the local industry. “It’s the assets we have in terms of talent, location, and the relationship between multiple companies."
It’s an inspiring monument to an industry many hope will soon recover its ascendancy. But a month or two before opening, the building’s permanence feels uncertain. Then again, rapidly rising gas prices and yet another looming conflagration in the Middle East don't exactly ensure the future of the oil and gas industry.
At this point in history, it's unclear exactly who are the mighty — or if they will fall.
Linda Baker is managing editor of Oregon Business.
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Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON
Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.
Friday, May 22, 2015
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As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.
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Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.
Friday, May 08, 2015
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Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
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Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
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