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East Bay Green Group Draws $76 Million to Region

East Bay green group draws $76 million to region

Coming into its second year, the East Bay Green Corridor Partnership continues to grow and estimates it has drawn $76 million to the region in investments for sustainable programs and projects.

The group, which holds its second annual summit Friday, formed at the end of 2007 to attract green jobs and businesses to the East Bay. The original partners include the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and Emeryville along with U.C. Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

 

The group has welcomed seven new partners including the cities of Alameda, San Leandro, Albany and El Cerrito and the Peralta Community College District, Contra Costa Community College District and California State University, East Bay. The group also expects to hire a director, a position that will be paid for with $10,000 from each member and housed at the East Bay Economic Development Alliance office in Oakland.

Fridayís summit will feature a video conference with U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, who will discuss the Obama Administrationís focus on energy funding and biofuel clusters in the East Bay. Jay Keasling, CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Acting Deputy Director of Berkeley Lab, will give the keynote speech.

Members of the partnership have worked to attract funding from several sources including:

  • $4 million in federal stimulus money to the Joint BioEnergy Institute, a partnership of six institutions led by Berkeley Lab and located in Emeryville, to purchase equipment for enhanced study of conversion of plant biomass to biofuels and the study of sorghum as a bioenergy feedstock crop.
  • $17.8 million in federal stimulus money in the Green Corridor cities of Berkeley, Oakland and Richmond for weatherization, energy efficiency and green job training
  • $24.5 million to Berkeley Lab over the next five years from the Department of Energy to study how to clean up underground contaminants, from the nanoscale to the field scale
  • $30 million over the next five years from the Department of Energy to fund two Energy Frontier Research Centers at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab to improve our ability to capture carbon dioxide and store it permanently underground. Carbon capture and sequestration will help mitigate the effects of climate change while alternative energy sources are developed and improved.

Separately, Berkeley Lab will receive a total of $115.8 million in federal stimulus money for projects such as laboratory space upgrades, seismic upgrades and installation of a high-energy efficient transformer.

The second annual summit will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland.