Governor Tim Kaine today kicked off his Renew Virginia initiative, which will include legislative and executive actions to make Virginia a leader in energy conservation and efficiency and protecting the environment. The Governor met with his economic development team and energy-related business owners at the Greater Richmond Convention Center to discuss strategies for attracting renewable energy companies to the Commonwealth, and unveiled plans to form an interagency task force and create an energy marketing plan to attract green jobs to the Commonwealth.
“In today’s economy, we can turn our energy challenges into an opportunity,” Governor Kaine said. “Our goal is to position the Commonwealth as a leader in alternative energy generation, energy conservation, and research and development. By developing a green energy industry here, we will not only move towards a more environmentally responsible approach to addressing our growing energy needs, but we will also help stimulate Virginia’s economy.”
As part of the Renew Virginia initiative, the Governor announced the following actions:
- Under the leadership of Secretary of Commerce and trade Patrick O. Gottschalk, an Interagency Task Force for Energy Project Recruitment will work with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to build Virginia’s compelling case for renewable energy-related businesses. The task force will include state agencies, university research centers, and federal laboratories based in Virginia.
- The Governor has tasked VEDP with assembling an aggressive marketing plan for promoting Virginia’s business case for new investments and employement generating projects in renewable energy production and energy efficiency projects.
- The Governor’s 2009 legislative package, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks, will improve energy conservation, encourage green businesses to relocate to the Commonwealth, and help create a customer base for those already present.
- Through his roles as Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council and of the Southern Governor’s Association, Governor Kaine has pledged to work for more aggressive policies for Bay cleanup, and to create a dialogue within the Southern States on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how our natural resources can be an asset for the nation in the area of energy independence.
During their meeting this afternoon, the Governor and his economic development team heard from private sector executives representing 10 leading firms in energy technologies on what Virginia needs to do to position itself as a nationally and internationally recognized state for attracting and growing green energy technologies.
Attending the meeting were:
Karl Bren, President, GreenVisions Consulting
Tom Farrell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dominion
Ray Ganthner, Senior Vice President, New Plants Deployment, AREVA NP Inc.
Bijan Kazemi, Co-founder, Executive VP & CFO, Solar Panels Plus
Alan Petersen, Vice President of Development, INGENCO
Craig Shealy, President and CEO, Osage Bio Energy
Dick Sheehy, Director of Advance Planning, CH2M Hill Consulting
Denny Sulick, General Manager, Virginia BioDiesel Refinery
David Stoner, Senior Vice President, Wind Power Americas-BP Alternative Energy, NA
Barry Weiss, Region Executive, GE Energy – Southern Region
The Greater Richmond Convention Center, which hosted the meeting, is certified under the Virginia Green Program for a commitment to recycling, conservation, and support and promotion of green events and conferences.
For updates on Renew Virginia, please visit: www.governor.virginia.gov/RenewVirginia/.