The Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT), a public/private partnership dedicated to creating a healthy and sustainable future for Thurston County by encouraging, coordinating, and taking action on climate change, contracted with the New Energy Cities team to conduct a one and one-half day workshop on January 22-23, 2010. Over 60 community stakeholders ranging from elected leaders, members of the business and banking community, nonprofit organizations, utility representatives, and key county and city staff attended.
TCAT received a $1.5m grant from the Department of Energy to conduct a pilot retrofit project with the goal of leveraging that project into a 20-year strategy to bring deep energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy to all of Thurston County. To achieve this TCAT needed outside expertise in the field of clean energy solutions and local government innovation, which TCAT found in the Climate Solutions’ New Energy Cities team.
The Workshop educated participants about the variety of options that TCAT could consider among renewable energy, smart grid, electric vehicles, and deep energy efficiency solutions. The New Energy Cities team also facilitated a session on financing options, as well as a roadmapping exercise that yielded a variety of projects to pursue with a recommended timeline.
At the conclusion of the Workshop one of the participants, Thurston County Commissioner, Sandra Romero, remarked that, “The New Energy Cities Workshop was a wonderful use of my time. I am very energized about what Thurston County can do with clean energy now. Our money was very well-spent.”