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Greentown Labs in Somerville is a popular stop for pols

US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker toured Greentown Labs in Somerville, a clean energy incubator. She met with Thomas B. Milnes, CEO of Open Water Power, Inc. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Greentown Labs in Somerville is a mighty popular stop on the government circuit these days.

US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited Wednesday, lending her connections and support to several upstart green energy companies located there. She met with Ryan Wright, a solar-powered charging station manufacturer; Thomas B. Milnes chief executive of Open Water Power, Inc., an aluminum fuel cell maker; Jamie Byron, co-founder of Grove, which has developed a system for growing plants indoors.

Just a week earlier, Massachusetts’ US Senator Elizabeth Warren toured the, well, warren of startups located in Greentown’s old industrial space to lend further assurance that government can indeed help fuel innovation.


And there’s more. So far this year, the four-year-old technology incubator hosted US Representatives Joseph P. Kennedy III of Brookline and and Seth Moulton of Salem; California Congressman Eric Swalwell ; and Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.

The visitors, it may be noted, have been Democrats, with a few notable exceptions. Gerard Araud, France’s Ambassador to the United States, was appointed by France’s Socialist President Francois Hollande.

Mark Vasu, executive vice president of Greentown added two names to the list: Eduardo Medina Mora, the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, and Doris Leuthard, head of Switzerland’s Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications. in Switzerland. “It’s a pretty big tent we’re building,” he said.

Megan Woolhouse can be reached at megan.woolhouse@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @megwoolhouse.