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Cleantech, Smart Grid Growing In The Triangle

Cleantech Cluster
RTRP Cleantech Cluster

Smart water, energy and electric vehicles are turning out to be a major growth sector in the Research Triangle region.

Charles Hayes is President and CEO of The Research Triangle Regional Partnership.  He says all the growth in smart grid and clean technology caught them by surprise.

“We quite frankly didn’t know what we had until people from around the world started calling us and asking us to be involved in various things.  So you know, we said, let’s do a little studying and see what we have here," said Hayes.

Hayes says a new report shows the region has 96 smart grid companies alone.  That’s 60% more firms than two years ago.  If you include companies that specialize in efficient water management and transportation the count goes up to 200.  Hayes says it's excited.

"Smart grid and smart water and smart transportation is centered in our region.  And it's up to us to make sure that we bring the resources necessary to continue to grow that part of our economy to the benefit of the citizens in our area," said Hayes.

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership formed the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster in order to spur growth in the smart grid and energy sectors.  Some of the Cleantech founding members in the region are SAS, ABB and Duke Energy.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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