On Oct. 27, company and government officials held an open house to inaugurate the $1.6 million energy-efficient cooling system at WaferTech, a semiconductor manufacturer in Camas. More than $1 million for the project came in a grant from Clark Public Utilities via the Bonneville Power Administration. WaferTech put up $352,000, another $120,000 came from federal stimulus money – and $100,000 was provided in a grant from the Washington State University Extension Energy Program in Olympia.
That grant from WSU was part of the money the extension program received from the state’s $9 million settlement with Enron in 2009, the result of a multistate legal action against the company for market manipulation. The settlement cash was a rare windfall for the WSU operation, extension program industrial services manager Christine Love said, and much of that money has been distributed to companies such as WaferTech in incentive grants for energy-saving projects.