The Clean Energy Transition Board and staff are deeply sobered by the rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic and hope that you, your families, and communities can stay safe and healthy during this exceptionally difficult time.
In spite of these challenging times, we would like to share some positive news. We are pleased to announce that the Washington State Department of Commerce chose us to provide technical expertise to help develop the 2021 Washington State Energy Strategy. The Institute, leading a team that includes Evolved Energy Research; Stockholm Environment Institute; Hammerschlag, LLC; 2050 Institute; Inclusive Economics; FTI Consulting; and One Visual Mind, won the award in a competitive bidding process.
We will provide Commerce with technical analysis, facilitation, policy options, and communications materials to support the development of the State Energy Strategy, which will be designed to achieve the State’s ambitious target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Washington demonstrated bold leadership with the passage of the Clean Energy Transformation Act during the 2019 legislative session and we are honored to have been invited to help the state develop a smart, feasible plan to achieve its bold carbon reduction goals.
We are excited to introduce several new additions to the Institute’s team. First, Nicole E. Chevalier came on board at the beginning of the year to provide development consultation, particularly with foundation grants. Nicole brings a wealth of experience to the Institute, having previously spent 18 years at the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.
Next, Bruce Jacobsen joined the team in February as our Operations Director. Bruce has served in a variety of roles during his career, including as President/Chief Operating Officer of RealNetworks, COO of a college in Rwanda, as well as CEO of his own company. He has made a tremendous contribution to the Institute in his first month, completing several critical operations-related tasks, but most especially finding office space that we hope to move into in the early summer.
In February, Marc Daudon stepped down as President of the Institute’s Board of Directors to join the team as a Senior Fellow to assist with the State of Washington contract. Marc’s three decades of experience working on numerous state projects will be critically important to that endeavor. We are also working with accountant Jessica Adair to help us as we scale the Institute.
A big congratulations to our Research Assistant, Nicole Larson, who learned in late February of her acceptance to the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Urban Design and Planning. Nicole will stay with the Institute until she matriculates in the fall.
Last, but definitely not least, we are most pleased to be recruiting for two critically important positions, Program Manager and Research Analyst. Please help spread the word about these excellent opportunities to join our dynamic operation.
We are delighted to welcome two new Directors to the Institute’s Board of Directors, Kathleen Hebert and Liz Thomas. Kathleen worked at Microsoft from 1988 until 2003, when she left her Vice President position to devote her efforts to environmental issues. She has been an active partner in Social Venture Partners; is on the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Washington; was a 2015 Northwest Conservation Philanthropy Fellow; and is a member of E8, an organization of early stage investors who aim to accelerate the transition to a clean economy.
Liz is a partner in the K & L Gates Seattle office in the firm’s Energy, Infrastructure, and Resources practice. Her national legal practice concentrates on a range of matters related to energy and water regulation, transactions, and project development. She focuses on regulatory matters; licensing and compliance for hydropower facilities; siting, permitting, and development of renewable and traditional energy facilities; litigation involving energy facilities, water rights and rates; and advising clients on public policy issues.
With funding from the Bullitt Foundation and the Seattle Foundation, the Institute is exploring the most equitable practices for how to decarbonize buildings within low-income and historically marginalized communities. We have completed the initial research phase of this project and are now creating an advisory group of community partners to develop a pilot program to test equitable strategies.
We contracted with Evolved Energy Research to update the assumptions for the Northwest Deep Decarbonization Pathways Study with current data, as well as Washington State's new clean energy targets. The initial modeling ran in the summer of 2018 and we need to account for the cost declines and technology improvements since then. We are re-running the Business-As-Usual case, as well as the Central Case and are most interested to see how these updates will impact the pathways.
Thank you for your ongoing engagement and support, which make our work possible.
Eileen V. Quigley