Improving community resilience, increasing energy independence, increasing investment in local power, and reducing fossil fuel emissions in Hood River County. Helping Hood River County maximize economic benefits and improve community resilience by reducing emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

Helping Hood River County maximize economic benefits and improve community resilience by reducing emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

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About the Hood River County Energy Council

The Hood River County Energy Council is an 11-member community-led advisory group that supports implementation of the Hood River County Energy Plan in collaboration with the governing bodies that have adopted the plan.

The Hood River Energy Plan was adopted in 2018 by the following governing bodies:

Council members work with partners throughout the County to advance the Energy Plan through subcommittee work, fundraising, and strategic planning.

Council Members & Bios

Alexia Kelly

Council Member

Alexia Kelly has worked at the intersection of policy and finance for more than 15 years to accelerate the transition to the clean energy economy with government, non-profits, philanthropy and corporations. Alexia currently serves as the Director of Net Zero + Nature for Netflix, where she oversees implementation of the company’s Science Based Target (SBT) and strategy for internal emission reductions across operations and productions. In this role, Alexia leads cross-functional teams focused on renewable energy procurement, energy efficiency, vehicle electrification, and clean and mobile power generation. She also leads the company’s Net Zero + Nature initiative and has procured more than 3M tons of high quality carbon credits from around the globe. In addition to her role at Netflix, Alexia serves as a Senior Advisor to the High Tide Foundation, where she represents the foundation to the international Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets. Alexia has also held roles at the U.S. Department of State Climate Change office and the World Resources Institute in Washington D.C., In private equity and philanthropy in the Bay Area, and at The Climate Trust in Portland, Or. Alexia has served on the Hood River County Energy Council since 2018, and co-chairs the Community Scale Solutions Committee. Alexia also serves on the Board and Renewable Energy Advisory Council of the Energy Trust of Oregon, and as the co-chair of the Global Climate Action Partnership. She holds a B.A. in Planning, Public Policy and Management (2003), a Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) (2006), from the University of Oregon. Alexia, her husband Lach Litwer, and their two children have lived in Hood River since 2017. They love exploring the Gorge in all its seasons. When not working or wrangling kiddos, Alexia is perfecting her kimchi recipe and is passionate about great local food and food systems.

Matt King

Energy Council Co-Chair and Council Member

Matt King loves all things related to community energy, with extensive experience at the nexus of forestry, renewable energy, agriculture, and manufacturing. In his current role as the Director of Sales and Innovation at Heartwood Biomass, Matt’s work is focused on facilitating forest restoration, stewardship, and wildfire mitigation by converting woody biomass into a myriad of value-added products. In his former position as the Renewable Energy Program Director at Wallowa Resources, Matt oversaw a values- driven renewable energy program focused on community resilience, keeping energy dollars local, and decarbonizing our local energy systems. In his free time, Matt loves to cook, garden, and mess around in the woods and play in the rivers of the PNW.

Anna Dalbey

Student Representative Representative

Anna is a 15-year-old sophomore at Hood River Valley High School. This is her first position working in energy, and she is very excited to learn more about it. She enjoys being outside, hanging out with friends, and reading. She looks forward to being able to put student input and youth perspective into the energy decisions for the community. 

Alan Hickenbottom

Council Member

Alan is a 20-year veteran of the renewable energy industry and the Principal/Owner of Latitude45 Associates, a Hood River-based consulting firm providing business development, policy, grant writing and project management services in the cleantech and renewable energy space. He is a current or past board member of the NW Environmental Business Association, Oregon Business Association, Clean Energy Works Oregon, Oregon Natural Desert Association, Build Local Alliance and the Community Renewable Energy Association as well as being a GorgeCASA volunteer advocate. He enjoys water sports as long as the water is fluffy and frozen.

Andrea Johnson

Council Member

Andrea Johnson is the Executive Director at Green Empowerment where she uses her diverse background to bring renewable energy and clean water infrastructure to rural communities across the globe. Andrea completed climate research during her undergraduate studies at Duke University and was a research fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center before joining the Peace Corps. Andrea served in Ecuador, where she later worked on SocioBosque – a UN REDD+ ecosystem services program. After almost four years living in bamboo hut in coastal Ecuador, Andrea landed in Oregon where she worked for the Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon and later at CLEAResult Consulting where she managed Energy Trust of Oregon’s residential energy efficiency program. In 2023, Andrea was awarded Executive of the Year in Social Impact from the Portland Business Journal.

As a working executive with two young children living in the Hood River Valley, Andrea is passionate about community-centered development and is committed to bringing her global perspective to help build rural resiliency here at home. When not working or volunteering, Andrea can be found in the mountains, rivers, and farmland with her family or coaching youth sports at Parkdale Elementary.

Councilor Pam Thweatt

Port of Cascade Locks Representative

Pam Thweatt brings a career’s worth of high-level administrative experience from various industries, including law, technology, healthcare, and environmental/engineering consulting. She has served global leaders with experience in C-suite operations and currently supports a large project for Maul Foster Alongi (MFA), which includes environmental, civil engineering, and construction elements. She is employed by MFA as a project administrator and volunteers in her community as a commissioner for the Port. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology with a minor in sociology with a strong interest in culture and geology. She is passionate about climate resiliency and has hope for next generation problem solving and technology.

Pam spends her down time hiking, backpacking, biking, paddling (exploring the Gorge), and spending quality time with her two cats. She is a life-long learner and enjoys a great adventure.

Port Representative Greg Hagbery

Port of Hood River Representative

Greg Hagbery, Land Development, Airport Manager and Property Manager for the Port, wears many hats in his role for the Port of Hood River. Greg grew up in the trade industry and has always had an appreciation for the constructed environment, until a fall off a roof provided a healthy respect for gravity and motivation to seek alternative ways work with constructed systems. A stint as a graphic designer provided a creative outlet, but ultimately did not fulfill the continued desire to develop creative ways to provide solutions or refinements for our built environment. Greg earned a degree in Architecture from Florida International University, in Miami. Almost immediately, Greg found himself using his creative skillset as a civilian contractor for the Department of Defense, providing graphics and technical reports for short and long range strategic plans. Seeing the ability to analyze issues and advise decision makers, Greg quickly found a love for land use planning. There, he combines his love for long range strategic planning and his penchant for the modular systems and the mechanical components that make up the short-term processes.

Living in Hood River since 2013, Greg has been with the Port of Hood River since 2021, providing management of waterfront, Lower Mill, and airport development planning as well as property management for the Port’s commercial and industrial buildings. As a new member of the Energy Council, Greg looks forward to using his experience and passions for the betterment of the Hood River community and Gorge region at large.

Councilor Tim Counihan

City of Hood River Representative

Tim is honored to be able to serve the Hood River community as a City Council Member working hard to improve the quality of life for all Hood River residents while promoting inclusive social and sound environmental policies. It is in this role he was appointed to the Energy Council to represent the City.  Tim is committed to supporting local businesses and understands that the health of the local economy helps make Hood River the safe, family-friendly town that the community has come to love. Tim and his wife Jen Bayer have lived in the Columbia River Gorge since 1993

Eric Strid

Energy Council Co-Chair and Council Member

Eric Strid is a cofounder and retired CEO of Cascade Microtech, a global semiconductor equipment company in Beaverton, Oregon (now FormFactor, Inc.). He is named inventor on 67 US patents. Eric is now working only for our children, on various climate mitigation research and volunteering, including co-convening the Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network; serving on the boards of Power Oregon and npArbor, Inc.; as councilor for the Hood River County Energy Council; and on the Advisory Boards of Food and Water Watch and the Green Energy Institute at Lewis and Clark College. Eric’s current research interests include clean energy policies and modeling, accelerating EV adoptions, seasonal energy storage developments, and artificial intelligence technologies. He lives in White Salmon and loves to run, bike, windsurf, and ski.

Jessie von Flotow

Council Member

Jessie is drawn to working with the Hood River Energy Council out of passion for sustainable energy and infrastructure innovation and an interest in local, community scale action. Her background in mechanical engineering is paired with strong critical thinking skills and an interest in applying technology toward mission-driven work. In this field, she was involved in the design and development of mechanical systems with small start-up companies including physical prototyping, executing testing, coordinating manufacturers, and creating technical documentation. Jessie’s passion for serving the needs of others, engaging with diverse groups of people, and leveraging her personable nature led her to next pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is currently working as a nurse in the Providence Hood River Emergency Department. This role is important to her as a way to promote equity in the community.

After growing up in the mountains of Southern Alberta, Jessie has a strong love of the outdoors, mountain biking and backcountry skiing. Since moving to Hood River in 2021, she has been exploring the surrounding areas and is keen to learn more about the Gorge topography. She is an advocate for public transportation, cycling as a means of transportation, and waste reduction.

Scott Reed

Council Member

Scott is a local builder licensed in Washington and Oregon whose work focuses on custom woodworking and finish carpentry. He has personal and professional interests in high-efficiency residential design, details and construction. Prior to becoming a full time builder Scott worked in hydro-operations and renewable-energy integration for the Bonneville Power Administration. In his spare time, you’ll find Scott out hiking and riding with his family, kiting, and sailing.

Lindsay McClure

Council staff / MCEDD Energy and Project Manager

Lindsay joined MCEDD as Energy & Project Manager in the spring of 2022. She works with the Hood River County Energy Council to advance the goals of the Hood River County Energy Plan.  Before joining MCEDD, Lindsay spent eight years working in education, first as a teacher then as vice principal at a small private high school. Lindsay is also an avid writer who has worked as a freelance copywriter and journalist throughout her professional career. Lindsay attended the University of Denver, graduating with honors with a B.A. in journalism, a concentration in photography, and a minor in business administration. She was also a member of the University of Denver’s NCAA Division I ski team and helped the team win two NCAA championships. Lindsay grew up in the Hood River valley. When she’s not working on energy efficiency and resiliency projects, she can be found enjoying the area’s mountains, rivers, and trails.

History

Hood River County has a long-standing history of energy efficiency and renewable energy development as a means to reduce energy costs, hedge our bets against future increases in energy costs, and increase our community’s resilience to changing temperatures and natural disasters, both natural and human caused.

The Hood County Energy Plan was developed in 2015-2016 by a group of volunteers and elected officials in Hood River County who saw an opportunity to be more strategic about helping the county meet its future energy needs.

The creators of the Energy Plan believed the community could invest in an energy future that would provide good local jobs, generate clean power, save taxpayers money, and set us up to be a refuge in times of emergency.

The plan was made possible through funding from Hood River County, City of Hood River, Port of Hood River, City of Cascade Locks, Port of Cascade Locks, Energy Trust of Oregon, The Ford Family Foundation, and the RARE Americorps Program.

Examples of early clean energy projects in Hood River County:

  • Hood River Middle School‘s Music and Science building is the first public school building in the United States to be net-zero-energy certified.
  • The Hood River County Parks and Recreation District solar water system at the pool was the largest grant-funded project of its kind in state history at the time of its construction.
  • The Tofurky food manufacturing plant located at the Port of Hood River is one of the few LEED Platinum-certified food manufacturing facilities in the world.
  • The Farmers and Middle Fork Irrigation districts’ community-owned and operated hydroelectric facilities generate approximately 17% of Hood River County’s electricity and bring $3 to $4 million dollars to the county each year.
  • At the Diamond Fruit Company Co-Op, energy-efficiency upgrades save the company more than $50,000 annually, improve its equipment performance, and make the company more competitive globally. Such projects allow Hood River Electric Co-Op to defer distribution system improvements by slowing load growth while continuing to serve growing customer needs.
  • The City of Hood River Public Works building’s rooftop solar project is one of the first community-financed renewable energy projects in Oregon, saving the City an estimated $97,000 over 25 years.