Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s Visit Gave Us the Right Kind of Jolt
By Vahan Garboushian, Founder, CTO & Board of Directors Chairman
We expected U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s visit to our North Las Vegas, Nevada, production facility to be a big event, and it was. What we didn’t expect was how much it pumped us up.
You do not have to be around Secretary Chu for very long to realize that he gets solar energy. He understands the scientific foundations, of course, as a Nobel Prize-winning physicist would. But what was so gratifying for those of us as a company putting the science into use, was that he also understands the practical realities of turning science into jobs and economic growth.
We are at an inflection point in the renewable energy development. For the first time in history, the economic, technological, political and societal prerogatives for widespread development of renewable energy resources have intersected. The economies that will excel in the next generation will have national renewable energy strategies. That was a major theme of Secretary Chu’s visit – building a renewable energy economy. Secretary Chu was interested in the science behind our products, but he was just as interested in Amonix’s progress as an example of how government and industry can cooperate to create jobs and energy resources.
During a round table discussion with business and government leaders in North Las Vegas, Secretary Chu moved smoothly from business, to regulatory, to financial issues, demonstrating a firm grasp of details and the overall strategic picture. He talked about the U.S. Department of Energy’s efforts to get investment funds and tax credits to projects like ours faster, and the ongoing efforts to enshrine renewable energy development in national economic policies. His performance inspired optimism for the renewable energy industry’s future.
Our North Las Vegas facility, which employs more than 300 people, is a practical expression of the Obama Administration’s vision of renewable energy as an economic engine. The Nevada Development Authority estimates the facility will bring $560 million of overall economic impact to Southern Nevada. Construction has already created 135 jobs. In addition to supporting our growth, the Department of Energy has invested more than $440 million in 80 projects in Nevada. The department estimates that these projects will create 2,000 new jobs in the state. Secretary Chu came to see policy turn into reality, and we were glad to show it to him.
- CHI SIAMO
- Tecnologia CPV
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