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The theme of this year’s event was “Sustaining Innovation”. In a letter addressed to the summit attendees, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell stated that our nation is transitioning to a clean-energy economy. With that transition, she noted that “Washington State has tremendous potential to lead the nation and the world in this effort”. Keynote speaker Roger Woodworth, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Avista Utilities, in speaking on the topic A New Era for Energy: Are You Ready?, noted that “change is the new norm” in the arena of energy production, distribution, and construction. Also, that this “change will be transformational, not incremental”. The progress of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project was outlined. Among the other important topics dealt with were the impact technology has on the energy and construction industries, energy efficiency in building construction and in the generation and distribution of electricity, and training new workers in the new high-tech environment.
Locally, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Workforce Grant, additional training opportunities at the JATC will be developed and offered. Among them will be Photovoltaics and Building Automation. As the old Bob Dylan song said, “the times they are a-changin’”.