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An example? HelioVolt maintains a 12,000 square foot plant with neat rows or printing machines, chemical vats and ovens powered efficiently with a gleaming array of the latest in solar panel technology. The company is just one example of how the Austin business sector embraces the green building movement - a movement that uses thin solar panels that are more energy efficient than the thick, expensive photo-voltaic panels that were used just a few years back.

HelioVolt's CEO, Jim Flanary, is a staunch advocate of the latest in solar tech, stating, "If you can do this really cheaply and really quickly, you've got a winner. We want to scale up as soon as we can." The lessons learned from the Pecan Street smart grid program have been applied across the entire business sector of Austin, placing the big city with a small, college town feel, ahead of other green cities like San Francisco, California, Boulder, Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts.

What makes the Pecan Street project even more impressive is that Texas is a part of the "oil patch" - a large region that produces millions of barrels of oil and other traditional fossil fuels, a region that relies on traditional energy resources for revenues, employment and power. Even so, Pecan Street has received financial support from the community's local energy supplier, community licensing agencies and smart energy advocacy groups at all levels of government.

In fact, Austin is the home of numerous green businesses usually associated with politically liberal towns. However, the Austin, Texas business community has embraced green building practices as part of the city's innovative, hip culture, making green practices not only smart but tech-savvy, as well.

The Future of the Green Revolution The future of clean tech is evident today - right now - in Austin.

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