Satsop Development Park
New Uses for Old Infrastructure
The Satsop Development Park is a mixed-use business and technology park located on the site of the old Satsop nuclear power plant. The new Satsop Development Park attracts diverse manufacturing, telecommunications, technology, commercial and distribution companies. The site was originally designed in the 1970s for a nuclear power plant, but construction was never completed and the unfueled power plant was abandoned in the mid-1980s when the Washington Public Power Supply System defaulted on $2.25 billion in revenue bonds. The site lay dormant until the mid-1990s, when local community and business leaders realized that the buildings, infrastructure and real estate of the plant could be used as a business park to attract investments and jobs to the region.
The Satsop Development Park includes 440 developable acres plus 1,200 acres of forest preserve. The Park is centrally located in the Cascadia Economic Corridor, on a ridge top just a few miles southwest of the town of Elma. Fully occupied, it can provide 5,000 or more jobs and represents a significant opportunity for Southwest Washington to diversify its economy. It offers high-tech and industrial tenants an opportunity to grow in a high-quality-of-life, business-friendly community with a stable workforce. The property is currently owned and managed by the Grays Harbor Public Development Authority, who is engaged in leasing space at the park to a variety of businesses. The Satsop Development Park is attractive to many businesses because of the robust infrastructure that was put in place for the nuclear power plant. The Grays Harbor Public Development Authority invested $3 million to bring unlimited bandwidth and telecommunications technology to the park. There is over 547,000 sq. ft. of buildings with office, warehousing and manufacturing space available. The Park offers companies top quality connectivity and reliability within an incredibly secure and safe environment for business operations. The hardened facilities were built to withstand natural disasters by offering triple redundant fiber optic telecommunications, extensive electrical infrastructure, heavy duty backup diesel generators, on-site fuel stations, high capacity natural gas lines, super-sized industrial water systems, closed-loop fire protection systems, and high-capacity transportation networks.
Some of Satsop Development Park's current tenants include TechTel, who operates the Park's 24 x 7 network operations center and co-location facility; The Warm Company, who manufactures cotton batting for the quilting industry; Simpson Door Company, a manufacturer of custom doors; SafeHarbor Technology a provider of technical and customer support services via the Web; BMT Northwest (formerly Reliable Steel) who specialized in heavy industrial metal fabrication, structural steel and quality field erected and shop built steel tanks; Northwest Specialty Woods, a manufacturer of fine quality musical instrument components, furniture, and custom wood products; Invenergy, developer of large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation facilities; The Northwest Laborers-Employers Training Trust Fund, who provides state-of-the-art construction training.
Regional Education and Training Center
The Satsop Development Park is host to the Regional Education and Training Center which is run by the Pacific Mountain Alliance for Innovation, through funds from the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant project. The Regional Education and Training Center is a sustainable training center where both new and incumbent workers can learn job-ready skills that lead directly to living-wage careers in a wide variety of occupations available in the five-county region. These jobs range from the most familiar, in forestry and marine harvesting, to the newest in leading-edge specialized manufacturing and green business opportunities, such as biomass and alternative energy.
The Regional Education and Training Center (RETC), supports regional economic growth through agreements with industry partners, higher education institutions and research centers that are leading the development of new energy tools and processes, technologies and technology transfer agreements. Examples include: fuel cell research, bio mass utilizing existing timber resources in the area, wind power and other new technologies. New innovations through applied research will be key to continued growth and the creation of new approaches to energy production and conservation. Bringing innovation, entrepreneurship, basic research and development together is a critical component for continued economic competitiveness for the industry and the region.
The RETC also takes advantage of the Satsop site’s resources to partner with the Grays Harbor College Forestry Program, Career and Technical Education classes with a Try-A-Trade with Technology day for regional high school students, and a Skills USA competition. The RETC continues to acquire the space and resources it needs, including advanced classrooms and laboratories, specialty hands-on instruction stations, and even a web presence that will support online instruction and resource sharing.
The Grays Harbor College operates several training programs at the Park, including the Industrial Controls Systems Technology Training program, the Commercial Drivers License training program and the Forestry Technician training program that manages the Park's 1200 acre forest preserve. The RETC offers regular safety training courses including, First Aid and CPR, Home Health Certification, Asbestos Certification, Hazardous Materials Handling, OSHA 10, and LEED Associate Training. In addition, the RETC hosts on-demand courses in Confined Space Training, Laser Alignment, Virtual Learning Course Development, LEAN Six Sigma, and Web Video Production and Editing.
The massive pontoons for the new Evergreen Point Bridge on Lake Washington - the biggest bridge ever built in the state - will be manufactured in Grays Harbor County. Each of the 33 pontoons for the bridge will be 75 feet wide by 360 feet long by 28.5 feet high. The first phase of the project was the construction of a test pontoon. The test pontoon which is the same height as the actual bridge pontoons, but is only half as wide and just a third as long has been constructed at the Satsop Development Park.
Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Project
The RETC is part of the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy: Smart Grid Workforce Development Project. The project works with over twenty different educational institutions, utilities, and community partnerships to design workforce development tools for the utility industry to implement the workforce development programs to ensure that Smartgrid technologies can be rapidly implemented in the Pacific Northwest.
Alternative Energy Technology Program
In cooperation with New Market Skills Center in Tumwater, the RETC provides technical and equipment support for the Alternative Energy program designed to provide a pathway to alternative energy careers to high school students. The program combines theory with hands on practice in the production and transmission of renewable energy technologies and offers up to 14 college credits.