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Gregoire lauds SEED project during SK visit

Gov. Chris Gregoire expressed her support for the Sustainable Energy Economic Development (SEED) project during a meeting with local officials and SEED staff at the Port of Bremerton on Friday.

SEED is intended to be a themed office park devoted to the development of alternative energy sources. As planned, it is situated on 75 acres and will generate up to 2000 jobs upon its completion.

“We know that the American consumer is starting to figure out the use of alternative energy,” said SEED Director Tim Botkin. “Our choice is whether we want to be the ones to produce it or whether we will get it from another place.”

“I like the idea that SEED would become an ‘innovation zone,’” Gregoire said. “Once designated it encourages the recruitment of alternative energy companies and this grows the entire area. We can develop partnerships with research institutions. And with research, entrepreneurship and manufacturing everything will be available in one spot.”

Gregoire met with a group that included county commissioners, state legislators, Port of Bremerton members and two potential SEED tenants.

Opis Technologies President Greg Osterloh said that SEED would give alternative energy companies the ability to acquire the major funding they need to enter a production phase.

“A lot of companies will need a $10 million or $15 million investment to bring their products to market,” he said. “In order to convince investors they need external validation from someone outside their company that their technology works. SEED will allow them to get this validation.”

Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island) said that as SEED develops it becomes more robust.

“I hope we can find the funding and go forward,” he said. “I hope to see this as a way to stay on the leading edge for the production of this kind of technology.”

North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen felt that Gregoire would help to gain the needed funding to support the project’s development.

“It looks like we will get more help from the state for SEED,” Endresen said. “This is very exciting.”

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