WASHINGTON, DC – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today announced U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) as recipient of a 2009 National Solar Energy Champion Award, citing his tireless leadership to combat climate change, steer our economy towards a clean energy future and put solar energy to work for all Americans.
“The solar industry has emerged as a job creation engine in Nevada and across the country due in large part to Senator Reid’s leadership,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “He played a major role including key solar provisions in the economic stimulus bill and Nevada is on the leading edge of the clean energy economy. We are proud to name him SEIA’s 2009 Solar Energy Champion of the Year and we look forward to continuing our work with Senator Reid in 2010 to create tens of thousands of solar industry jobs.”
“I thank the SEIA for this honor and I gladly accept it on behalf my fellow Nevadans and our state’s growing clean energy industry,” Reid said. “Coming from a state where the sun shines more than 300 days a year, solar power is a no brainer. I believe this renewable resource is the key to creating jobs and making Nevada energy independent, and I look forward to our continued work toward that goal.”
In June, Senator Reid joined Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to announce “fast-track” initiatives that will bring federal agencies together with leaders in Western states to designate U.S. public lands in the West as key areas for utility-scale solar development, fund environmental studies, open new solar permitting offices and speed reviews of industry proposals. These policies will play an important role in encouraging development of utility-scale solar power in America’s Southwest, which has some of the best solar resources in the world.
In August, Senator Reid hosted the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The summit convened policy experts, government officials and industry leaders to discuss initiatives to speed America’s transition to a clean energy economy, create new jobs, and increase our nation’s energy independence.
Senator Reid has also been a leading supporter of upgrading our electric grid so the clean energy generated in the solar-rich American Southwest can get to population centers across the country to meet our growing energy demands.
In addition to Senator Reid, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was also recognized by SEIA as the other National Solar Energy Champion of 2009.
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the solar energy industry. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies 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. Learn more at www.seia.org.