DALLAS, TX - The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) today announced the winners of the SEIA Solar Champion Awards during the Solar Power International (SPI) conference being held at the Dallas Convention Center until October 20. These entities or individuals were chosen based on the significant impact they made during the last year in helping build a strong solar industry to power America and to advance the solar industry goal of achieving 10 gigawatts (GW) of new annual installed capacity by 2015.
"Last year at Solar Power International, the industry laid out its vision of installing 10 gigawatts of solar power - enough to power 2 million homes - each and every year by 2015," said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA. "All of these awardees have contributed significantly over the past year to make headway toward this goal. These are the kinds of innovators that will continue to make solar more affordable to consumers every day and realize the industry's ambitions to be the largest source of new electricity generation in the United States."
The following award recipients were presented in eight different categories:
- Federal Legislator: Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona
Rep. Giffords (D-8th, AZ) is a committed advocate for solar energy in Congress. As a strong supporter of the solar investment tax credit and the 1603 Treasury Program, she knows that smart public policy creates jobs and grows industries. As a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, she introduced the Solar Technology Roadmap Act to guide long-term federal solar research and development. This legislation became the foundation for the Department of Energy's new SunShot Initiative.
- Governor: Deval Patrick, Massachusetts
Under Gov. Patrick's leadership, Massachusetts has made solar energy a cornerstone of its clean energy economy, starting with his goal of 250 MW of installed solar power by 2017. In 2010, the Commonwealth Solar II Program was launched to provide rebates to residential and small commercial systems. Cumulatively, Massachusetts has dedicated over $160 million of renewable energy and federal funds to support its investment in solar energy, which totals almost $330 million.
- Adopter: Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson has been a leader in solar adoption over the last decade since its first installations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2001. By being an early adopter of solar energy and willingly sharing their experience with other companies, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, Johnson & Johnson has been the inspiration for many other companies to go solar. In total, Johnson & Johnson now operates 21 solar projects in six countries with over 18 megawatts of solar capacity.
- Advocate: Fred Morse, Senior Advisor, Morse Associates
For more than 20 years, Morse has been a champion for the solar industry. Through his work with the Department of Energy, Morse has taken a leadership role in raising the awareness of solar among utilities, regulators and policy makers in the Southwest. His most recent efforts centered on assisting Abengoa Solar with its Solana Generation Station Project near Gila Bend, Ariz. The 250 MW utility-scale solar power plant is currently under construction and is one of the largest solar projects in the world.
- Innovator: SunRun
SunRun has led the charge in making solar installation more affordable and straightforward for homeowners, particularly in streamlining local permitting and eliminating unnecessary permitting costs. The company offers installation fees as low as $0 upfront, and its monthly solar payments are controlled for 20 years to increase savings over time and protect against volatile utility pricing. In addition, SunRun developed an extensive report that has served as a guide for the Department of Energy on the needless costs to homeowners from inconsistencies in local permitting cost.
- Manufacturer: Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric's innovative 1 megawatt solar farm in Smyrna, Tenn., is the first dual voltage solar farm in the United States, resulting in a more efficient solar farm operation. The Smyrna farm is also the third largest in the state and will generate about 1.3 million kWh of electricity annually, 25 percent of the facility's total use. The installation qualified for the TVA Generation Partners Program, which offers a premium on all solar generated power that Schneider Electric sells back to TVA.
- Project Developer: Sempra Generation
Sempra Generation has contributed greatly to advance the solar industry's goals through its development of utility-scale solar installations in Nevada, Arizona, and California over the past year. Collectively, the multi-phase solar complexes in development by Sempra Generation could generate up to 1,400 MW of clean electricity, enough to power 280,000 American homes and businesses.
- Service Provider: Hunton & Williams
Hunton & Williams has been a leader in aiding developers, lenders, manufacturers and others in the development of their solar initiatives. H&W is a major participant and contributor to SEIA by assisting SEIA in its education, policy, advocacy and leadership in the solar industry. For example, Hunton & Williams has helped financial institutions fund millions of dollars worth of small, medium and utility-scale solar projects over recent years.
*Photos for Awardees Available Upon Request
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.
About Solar Power International:
Solar Power International (SPI) is North America's largest, most comprehensive solar power trade show and conference. This annual, business-to-business event was the first of its kind in North America and grows bigger and better every year. Nearly 24,000 professionals from 125+ countries attend. With one out of five attendees coming from outside the United States, SPI is truly a global event. In 2011, over 1,200 companies from all vertical markets in the solar power spectrum are exhibiting in a space of more than 1 million gross square feet.