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Public and private sectors discuss Arizona's clean energy economy

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Alex Gonzalez

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The Arizona Governor's Office of Resilience and industry leaders discussed clean energy investments in the state at Honeywell's facility in Phoenix Monday.

The event highlighted the partnership between the public and private sectors and how federal funds can be leveraged to continue making investments in renewable energy sources across Arizona, made available through the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Blaise Caudill, energy policy adviser to Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, contended when Arizona industry thrives, so do Arizona families. "Emerging, advancing and exciting," are some of the words Caudill used to describe Arizona's current clean energy economy.

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"A few months back, the governor was able to attend a ribbon cutting in Northern Arizona for a wind farm," Caudill recounted. "What was so unique about this project in particular was that this wind farm was placed on and co-sited with the largest cattle lands in the state. That is truly Arizona."

Caudill argued it is remarkable to see what he called "one of Arizona's initial five C's - being cattle," coexisting alongside efforts to better handle the state's "emerging climate." He added it is an exciting time for the state to continue developing the clean energy economy, and encourages Arizona stakeholders to expand workforce development programs to meet the state's needs.

David Shilliday, vice president and general manager of advanced air mobility for Honeywell, said the company has had a long-standing history with the state of Arizona and currently employs about 10,000 people, adding they are interested in not just today's economy, but the future.

Shilliday contended the state could improve the current infrastructure of clean energy, which requires establishing improved facilities and fostering what he calls the "workforce of the future."

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"We're also deeply involved in local universities," Shilliday pointed out. "To ensure that there are opportunities for developing the curricula for what we think the future needs are for a resilient and enduring Arizona economy that leans forward into this clean energy space."

Shilliday added Honeywell has been able to tap into incentives made available by the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act, and invested the resources in what he called clean energy solutions, renewable energy as well as to upgrade their facilities.