Future Energy Park on Hanford Site Could Be the Leading Industry in the Tri-Cities - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Future Energy Park on Hanford Site Could Be the Leading Industry in the Tri-Cities

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HANFORD, Wash-- Tri-Cities business leaders are working on a plan to make our region the nation's leader in energy research and Hanford is directly involved. They want to build an energy park on the Hanford site.

Leaders from energy companies like Areva, Energy Northwest, and PNNL want to work together on this. They see renewable energy as the future economic driver when cleanup at Hanford is close to being finished.

The $2 billion of federal stimulus money going to Hanford will create thousands of new jobs and puts the cleanup schedule on a fast track, but what happens when cleanup is close to being finished?

"What do you do with all that land and all that knowledge, water, and power? What you do is you try to create this energy park for the community using some of the manpower we have doing cleanup," said Gary Peterson, V.P. of TRIDEC.

What is an energy park? It would be a Mecca of research into renewable clean energy like nuclear, solar, wind and biofuels where anyone in the country can come here and learn about the latest technology.

"We need the help of the community to recognize that really the way to get to the future is to try and look at what this community can become in energy concept," said Peterson.

Right now the energy park plan is a community based idea with TRIDEC and the Tri-Cities local business association bringing companies together to look toward the future.

"Hanford is a finite project. It's going to end. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel the future is energy, clean green sustainable economical energy," said Keith Klein, Executive Director, Tri-Cities Local Business Association.

The planning stages for this energy project have just begun, but they hope it will be up and running in five years.