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Port: SEED is dead, but clean-tech lives

Port of Bremerton to partner with Olympic College, WSU as it continues green initiatives.

Port of Bremerton Chief Executive Officer Cary Bozeman recommended last month work cease on an incubator building for the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development project, but he says that does not mean the port has given up on clean-technology initiatives entirely.

“Many have the impression out there that our clean-tech issue has gone away, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Bozeman told the port’s board of commissioners during a study session following its meeting last week, asking consultant Scott Ware to expound on the port’s plans.

“After the CEO’s recommendation, we are embarking on two courses of action,” Ware said. “We will continue working with clean-technology organizations in the county on initiatives that do not require the investment cost of building a SEED campus.”

Ware said port staff would be “putting together a group interested in clean technology in October” and the port was expecting an appropriation of money from Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Bremerton).

“That money can be used to start a new clean-technology initiative,” Ware continued. “We just need to make sure it’s spent on a program that can work and has clear goals.”

During an earlier meeting, Bozeman said the potential appropriation was a $250,000 grant that would be spent in part on “working with Olympic College in attracting companies and workers to come to Kitsap County.”

To help attract such companies, Bozeman suggested putting in a soccer/football field in the port’s industrial park that could later be expanded to include trails for walking and jogging.

“If you’re going to attract companies like that, you have to offer amenities for the employees,” he said, adding the community could be offered use of the field during the weekends, as well.

As to the second course of action for the port in regards to clean technology, Ware said it will be to have the port improve “sustainability and efficiency within our own organization.”

To achieve that, Ware said the port is partnering with Washington State University — specifically graduate students from the school’s mechanical engineering program, who will “perform a thorough analysis of energy systems in the Port’s terminal and administration building at Bremerton National Airport.”

According to the port, the Engineering Design for Sustainability project is known as a Capstone Course, which represents the graduate group’s final requirement for a master’s of science in mechanical engineering. The work will be performed at no cost to the port other than incidental expenses.

“This is a win-win for the Port and WSU,” Bozeman is quoted as saying when the partnership was announced. “This is work that otherwise we’d have to contract out at significant cost. WSU’s engineering program is top-notch and we’re pleased it has chosen to partner with the port.”

The port described its airport terminal building as 40 years old, with 10,400 square feet eight different heating and air-conditioning systems. The building’s many south- and east-facing windows can cause the building to be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, leading employees “in some areas use space heaters under their desks during the winter.”

“First, we will target the low-hanging fruit,” Ware said. “Then we will move on to other things that would require budget initiatives.”

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