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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Alabama Power wins industry award for wind energy deal
Prospective Airbus suppliers now have online tool, registration starting point
Canfield sees bright future for tech, R&D in Bham
Tuscaloosa approves new economic development policy



Alabama Power wins industry award for wind energy deal
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 11:19 AM    
By Stan Diel | sdiel@al.com


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Alabama Power Co. has won a wind energy industry award for its agreement to purchase electricity from a Kansas wind farm company.


The utility received the "Outstanding Commercial Achievement Award" from the American Wind Energy Association for its partnership with TradeWind Energy, which also won the award.


Alabama Power first bought wind energy last year and now purchases enough wind power to power 115,000 homes, the company said in a prepared statement. The power is purchased from TradeWind, and then resold to Alabama Power customers for less than what it would cost Alabama Power to generate the electricity itself.


Under the terms of its deal with TradeWind, Alabama Power can deliver the wind-generated power to its customers, use it to retire renewable energy credits, or sell the electricity and credits to another utility, said John Kelley, Alabama Power's director of forecasting and resource planning.


"These agreements are good for our customers for one very basic reason, and that is, they save our customers money," Kelley said in a prepared statement.







Prospective Airbus suppliers now have online tool, registration starting point

By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 

November 20, 2012 at 4:06 PM


MOBILE, Alabama - Existing and aspiring aerospace suppliers now have one more thing for which to be grateful this Thanksgiving: a direct line to Airbus and its $600 million final assembly plant in Mobile.


Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor said Nov. 16, the company could easily boost its current monthly production from 42 to 50 aircraft once the European planemaker's U.S. supply chain is cultivated and expanded. In turn, the Mobile assembly plant is slated to begin production in 2015 and deliver its first A320 family aircraft in 2016, and McArtor said existing and potential suppliers within what he called a "support radius" of Airbus' 117-acre site at Brookley Aeroplex are "perfectly positioned" to become part of that supply chain.


But where exactly should a company interested in doing business with Airbus start?


Registration is currently taking place on the company's website by clicking on the "Airbus for Suppliers" tab. Once there, two options exist.







Canfield sees bright future for tech, R&D in Bham

By Ryan Poe, Reporter

Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 3:00pm


I recently had a chance to speak with Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield for a feature that ran in last week's print edition.


In that interview, he discussed the potential impact of Airbus' new Mobile facility on Birmingham and what the Magic City can do to boost economic development.


Here are a couple other questions and answers we couldn't fit in the print edition.


BBJ: What do you see as the hot sector for future economic development in Birmingham?


Canfield: Well, there's a lot of focus that is growing now, and a lot of strategy being developed and implemented, between (the Birmingham Business Alliance), the city of Birmingham and some of the surrounding communities and (the University of Alabama at Birmingham).


I think as that continues, and the focus continues, we'll see a lot more opportunities for the commercialization of the technology and the research that's being generated right here. And I think that's definitely an area that we should concentrate on.


But we can't lose sight of the fact that we have a region here that has the ability to be a stronger player in logistics and transportation, especially when you look at the network of interstates that we have, the potential for the Northern Beltline, and also, just as importantly, the access provided by (Norfolk Southern's Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility in McCalla).




[Birmingham Business Journal]



Tuscaloosa approves new economic development policy that allows council to grant incentives on case-by-case basis

By Chris Pow | cpow@al.com 
November 20, 2012 at 10:17 PM


TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- The Tuscaloosa City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to make changes to the city's economic development policy that will give the council more leeway in granting incentives to businesses.


The ordinance repeals most of the city's previous economic development assistance policy and replaces it with a two-page article that would allow the City Council to consider incentives such as tax rebates on a case-by-case basis.


"The intent is to give the City Council the full authority provided by Alabama law for cities to assist private development when the City Council makes a determination it's in the best interest of the public," said City Attorney Tim Nunnally. "The form of those agreements would be individually negotiated."

The amendment approved Tuesday authorizes the mayor to establish minimum thresholds or guidelines for job creation, potential tax revenue and other criteria that would determine eligibility for incentives by executive order.





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