Tri-City Companies on Hand
by Michelle Dupler
OLYMPIA -- Representatives from several Tri-City companies gathered in Olympia on Thursday for the second Energy Independence Day at the Capitol.
The original event was the brainchild of Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, who wanted to show his colleagues at the Legislature the cutting-edge energy technology being developed in his district.
Fellow 8th District legislator Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, also was involved in the event, which worked like an information fair with companies such as Energy Northwest and Infinia setting up booths and answering questions as lawmakers strolled by.
Among this year's exhibits was a presentation by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on the smart grid technology that will be coming to the Tri-Cities through a federal grant.
Smart grid technology allows appliances such as dishwashers to sense when energy demand is lowest and operate during those hours, thereby reducing peak demand for electricity, according to a news release.
"Washington and the nation continue to face big challenges producing and delivering the energy we need," Delvin said. "Between companies like Infinia, federal resources like PNNL, and state resources like Washington State University's Nuclear Radiation Center and Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy, we have the ingenuity, creativity and resolve to lead our nation toward energy independence."
Haler said the event successfully showed his colleagues exciting things happening in the Tri-Cities.
"I think we're highlighting all the positive things that are going on and things moving our energy future forward," he said.
Participants included PNNL, the Tri-Cities Research District, Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities, Infinia, Energy Northwest, Columbia Basin College, WSU, Benton and Franklin PUDs and the American Nuclear Society.
This year's event was organized by Diahann Howard of the Port of Benton.
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