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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


San Diego Jobs Created by Bid for Smart Grid

A new focus on renewable energy could help create thousands of San Diego jobs.

A local group of businesses and organizations recently announced its plan to apply for federal funding that would be used to create a smart energy grid in San Diego. If the 28 entities, led by San Diego Gas and Electric, secure the funding, it could result in the creation of 3,200 new jobs and $213 million in investments.

"This is a job creator," Byron Washom, director of strategic energy initiatives at University of California, San Diego, told the San Diego News Network."Not only in the high tech area, but this will be a creator of blue and green collar jobs. There’s a tremendous amount of installation, manufacturing and engineering required."

Smart grids, which are a large component of President Barack Obama's nationwide green energy plan, serve as a more efficient way to create, store and distribute electricity than traditional power plants.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was put into motion earlier this year, allotted $4.5 billion for smart grids throughout the country. The San Diego group is requesting $100 million of that money and would provide $113 million in matching funds.

If San Diego receives any amount of funding, the projects created from it would begin to surface during the next one to three years. It is estimated that seven to 15 permanent jobs are created for every $1 million invested in the green industry, meaning a $213 million investment would result in the creation of 1,500 to 3,200 jobs.

"Green jobs are growing at a faster pace than the rest of the economy," Lee Krevat, director of smart grid for SDG&E, said. "Businesses thinking now of how to adapt their operations with the focus on environmental responsibility have the greatest chance of success in this new market."


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