Cleantech

Cleantech businesses find tremendous advantages in Palm Beach County. The confluence of geography and climate provides significant solar, biomass, and ocean energy sources. Consider:

  • The strongest current in the world, the Gulf Stream, makes one of its closest approaches to the United States in Palm Beach County, passing within eight miles of the shore. Submerged turbines within it can potentially generate power equivalent to a 55 mph wind.
  • In 2012, Florida ranked third in clean energy jobs, with more than 8,600 created through 500 projects (source: Environmental Entrepreneurs, March 2013.)
  • Florida is number one in annual biomass production, 7% of the U.S. total (source: University of Florida).
  • Florida is number one in net generation of energy from biomass, and seventh nationwide in both net generation from renewable sources excluding hydroelectric, and net generation from solar (source: S. Energy Information Administration).

The state of Florida supports the industry through renewable energy tax incentives, as well as support for research centers such as the Florida Energy Systems Consortium and the Florida Solar Energy Center. Enterprise Florida provides statewide industry information here.

Notable examples of cleantech businesses in Palm Beach County include:

Sunshine State Biomass Cooperative, which operates a registered Source Organic Processing Facility in Pahokee, and announced a $5 million capital investment in 2015 to employ cutting-edge patented torrefaction technology to the recycling of yard waste at the site. This expansion will employ up to 200 people.

 

Florida Crystals, headquartered in West Palm Beach, which owns and operates the largest renewable energy facility of its kind in North America and one of the largest in the world.   This renewable energy facility converts biomass (plant matter) to electricity.  The company recycles urban wood and vegetative waste and its own leftover sugar cane fiber, called bagasse, to produce clean, environmentally-friendly electricity that powers Florida Crystals’ sugar operations as well as 60,000 homes.   Florida Crystals also produces CarbonFree® sugars, the very first sugar products to be certified CarbonFree® by Carbonfund.org. This label indicates a product’s carbon footprint was rendered neutral through greenhouse gas cutting measures. Florida Crystals is the only company that achieves this neutrality through its own production and supply of renewable electricity.

 

EnerFuels high temperature PEM fuel cells operate with fuels other than hydrogen (natural gas, propane, LPG, methanol, bio-diesel), reducing implementation costs. The company provides advanced fuel cell power solutions focused on stationary power for telecom and distributed power sectors, as well as fuel cell power modules for OEMs and system integrators.

Palm Beach County’s educational institutions provide cutting edge research and top-notch graduates for the industry’s workforce. Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center is accelerating the commercial implementation of marine renewables for energy production, and Palm Beach State College’s Institute for Energy & Environmental Sustainability provides highly qualified technicians for local engineering technology, power, aerospace and manufacturing companies.

Where can you get more information?

Business Development Board of Palm Beach County
310 Evernia Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
561.835.1008


Brian Cartland, Vice President, Business Recruitment
bcartland@bdb.org

 

 

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