Businesses looking for a solid working relationship between commerce and utility interests were given a prime example in progress on Tuesday.  For the first time in recent memory, the commission boards of the Port of Grays Harbor and the Grays Harbor PUD met in joint session to discuss a pair of economic development opportunities and their potential impact on the county.

“For Grays Harbor to succeed, cooperation between community, business and utility interests is critical,” said PUD Commission President Arie Callaghan.  “The two projects that were discussed today at this joint meeting are a great example of what happens when two groups with a shared goal come together.”

The meeting included a report from Sound and Sea Technology on the financial and technical feasibility of landing a transoceanic telecommunication cable in Grays Harbor.  The report indicated that the cable project, in conjunction with a Satsop Business Park-based data support center, could be a good fit for Grays Harbor.

“There’s land. There is power.  There is potential.  Grays Harbor can be a digital port,” said Sound and Sea Technologies Chelsea Meggitt.

The meeting concluded with a report from PUD Engineering Director Schuyler Burkhart on a joint effort by the Port and PUD to increase power capacity at the Satsop Business Park.  The two groups are currently working with Grays Harbor County and the Bonneville Power Administration on a system study for a proposal, that when completed would immediately bring a further 40 megawatts of power capacity to Satsop, with room for future capacity growth.

“The cooperation between the Port, PUD, Grays Harbor County and BPA is driving us to a position where we can make Satsop the hub for economic development we all envision it to be,” said Burkhart.  “Partnerships and meetings like this one send a positive message about the business climate that exists in Grays Harbor.”

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