Editor’s note: Charles Hayes, chief executive officer of the Research triangle Regional Economic Partnership, delivered the group’s annual “state of the region” report on Thursday. And the pep talk included a strong emphasis on “cleantech.”

Here are some of the remarks Hayes made in summing up the growth of the region’s clean energy sector.

“A new emerging cluster, ‘cleantech,’ made great strides in 2010. This critical mass of researchers, 200-plus companies and support organizations focus on innovations in smart grid, advanced transportation and alternative energy.

“Among the cleantech investments:

• Cree, world leader in LED lighting, with a $392 million expansion, creating 330 new jobs to meet growing global demand for its energy-saving products.

• Becton, Dickinson and Company, a leading medical device and products maker, building its $38 million East Coast distribution center in Johnston County, creating 187 jobs.

• Eaton, diversified industrial manufacturer, with a $23 million expansion of its Person County plant, creating 120 jobs to build energy-efficient engine components for automotive customers worldwide.

• Siemens Energy, global supplier of products and services for the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power, planning a $2.9 million expansion of its plant in Wendell, a rural community in Wake County, creating 139 jobs.

• Uniboard, which opened its $140 million expanded wood paneling plant in Chatham County, creating 104 jobs and the company’s largest and most technologically advanced fiberboard plant in North America.”

Hayes went on to cite cleantech as a point of emphasis in the organizations’ five-year strategic plan titled “The Shape of Things to Come:”

“RTRP moved during the past year on key action steps in its five-year strategic plan, The Shape of Things to Come. The plan aims to create 100,000 jobs and boost employment in all 13 counties by July 2014 using a three-part strategy of business growth, product development and regional collaboration.

RTRP implements the plan with partners from its 13 member counties, RTP, the N.C. Department of Commerce and dozens of business, government, academic and nonprofit organizations.

“Cleantech cluster launched.

“RTRP launched a regional cluster network and joined the International Cleantech Network, the elite corps of cluster managers working to propel the sector’s growth worldwide. The region boasts N.C. State University’s FREEDM Systems Center, which is transforming the nation’s electric power grid into a smart grid to store and distribute renewable energy. The Biofuels Center of North Carolina, located in Granville County, is helping the state achieve its alternative energy goals. Warren County recently announced plans to develop a greentech campus, the first agricultural biotechnology park in the nation powered completely by alternative energy sources.”

For more about Hayes’ presentation, read here.

Click here for TechWire’s story about the report.

Click here to see the presentation of the organization’s data-packed annual report about economic development across the 13 counties.

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