Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994

October 23, 2012

In its first annual index comparing the 50 largest U.S. metro regions across the clean tech spectrum, Clean Edge has ranked Portland third, with a solid performance across nearly two dozen indicators. The just-released report, U.S. Metro Clean Tech Index, assesses clean-tech leadership in metro areas across four categories: green buildings; advanced transportation; clean electricity and carbon management; and clean-tech investment, innovation and workforce.

Edged only by San Jose (#1) and San Francisco (#2), Portland stood out on several specific measures: among the 50 largest metro areas in the nation it’s home to the highest concentration of LEED projects, it has more EV charging stations per capita than anywhere else, and its main utility, Portland General Electric, operates the nation’s leading green power purchasing program.

“The Clean Edge report confirms our competitive advantage in clean economy jobs and green building,” said PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton. “But we’ll continue to take a hard look at opportunities to strengthen Portland as a center for clean energy growth and business success.”

While Portland is competitive in clean tech venture capital, intellectual capital, and workforce development, these areas are also ripe for improvement, given the comparative strength of competitor areas like Silicon Valley and Boston.  PDC will use Clean Edge’s customized research services in the coming months to develop economic development initiatives on behalf of the local clean tech industry, in particular focusing on areas in which Portland ranked lower in the Metro Index.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Portland has more LEED-certified green-building projects per capita than any other metro region, and ranks in the top five for LEED square footage
  • Portland is in the top 10 for both EV and hybrid vehicle registrations
  • Portland ranks third among the 50 largest MSAs for clean economy jobs
  • Portland earned a #2 ranking for clean electricity/carbon management, thanks to a relatively clean electricity mix, clean power purchasing programs and low emissions from large facilities

“For Portland, the story is less about the rankings than about the work being done to advance clean tech throughout the region,” said Ron Pernick, Clean Edge Managing Director. “We see Portland building connections along the West Coast, across the nation, and around the world to build on its already-impressive leadership role in the sector.”

An executive summary of this year’s Metro Index is available for download at