The Waterfront District provides exciting opportunities for the clean technology market. There is land available for companies both large and small to thrive in the country's emerging next economy and the Waterfront District has distinctive clean energy assets which could benefit companies looking to expand or relocate for increased market share. Distinctive assets include:
- Waste Heat from the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Encogen Generating Station. The Encogen station previously exported up to 7.2 MGD of steam and hot water to the former GP facility.
- Surplus Water Main from Lake Whatcom to the Waterfront District. The former GP facility was a water customer of the City and the distribution system includes a surplus 48-inch pipeline from Lake Whatcom that provided untreated water to the GP mill. During peak operation, the mill used approximately 50-70 million gallons of water per day. The City has developed cost estimates of using this pipeline to generate hydropower and provide a cheap source of non-potable water.
- District Specific Utilities. The City is evaluating the development of utilities in the Waterfront District deployed on a district-scale that may include but are not limited to energy sources, district heating and cooling, and not-potable water systems.
- WWU Institute for Energy Studies. WWU is developing new undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs that combine the science, policy and technology of energy. WWU is ideally situated to provide exceptional education in the area of clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Strong Community Support. Whatcom County has received national recognition for community efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The Community Energy Challenge, a collaborative effort led by local nonprofits Sustainable Connections and the Opportunity Council, has worked with over 1200 homeowners and more than 275 small businesses to identify ways to reduce energy bills. From 2007-2009 Bellingham was the #1 EPA certified Green Power Community in America.