Wednesday, September 18, 2019 4:47:00 PM
La Kretz Innovation Campus (LACI), a hub for incubating tech startups and the clean energy marketplace, has created over $400 million in economic benefits for Los Angeles in addition to adding 1,500+ jobs.
During NASEO’s Annual Meeting in California on September 15-18, State Energy Officials, industry experts, and energy innovators were invited to tour the facility. We were impressed by what we found.
The LACI campus was originally created by the City of Los Angeles in partnership with the federal government. According to Mike Swords, VP of Government Relations at LACI, the City of Los Angeles fronted 40% of the cost of LACI, and a government grant funded the rest. This collaboration birthed a multi-faceted workspace that is open to the public and has transformed LA’s Arts District. It is powered by its own 175kW solar-powered microgrid, which would continue running for eight hours independently even if the rest of the city’s power shut off. The office contains extensive open-air workspace in order to facilitate collaboration for all of the new startups that call LACI home, and hosts $11 million worth of tools, labs, and equipment that all of the startups have access to. The public can also utilize this same equipment with a small membership fee and LACI training. Some of the technology startups have access to include: a biochemistry lab, water jet, laser cutters, 3D printers, welding equipment, and an Advanced Prototyping Center. Exhibits within the campus, including a model smart home, are fascinating additions that the public can explore as well.
One of LACI’s main goals is helping new companies in clean energy and zero emissions mobility industries be “responsive to the evolving environmental, social, and economic needs of the planet.” In alignment with this effort, LADWP reports LACI has helped 67 companies raise $135 million to launch the new businesses into the marketplace.
For more on the La Kretz Innovation Campus, visit https://laincubator.org/.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 5:47:00 PM
Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, stressed the importance of state action to address climate change during her keynote address at NASEO’s Annual Meeting. “We want to be on the right side of history. To be able to tell our grandchildren that we did something to help this crisis.”
California, a national leader and part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, abides by the Paris Agreement -- to try to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. “We don’t know how we are going to get to zero emissions by 2045, but we are moving forward with faith that we can,” Nichols says.
Nichols is proud of the progress California has made. California is making its grid more resilient and affordable. Moving forward, all new homes built will include solar panels, with incentives for adding solar to existing homes. Battery storage costs in California are half of what they were six years ago, and the state is looking into carbon capture and other methods to decrease emissions.
“We all have a collective problem about how to move forward under difficult circumstances,” Nichols says. “It’s never been more important that state’s use the power that they have to address climate issues with urgency.”