WASHINGTON - The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today announced that it has hired Manning Feraci to serve as Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the organization effective Monday, May 9. Feraci will lead the organization's efforts on Capitol Hill.
Feraci brings significant experience working on federal energy and tax policy issues. He most recently served as Vice President of Federal Affairs for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), where he spearheaded federal legislative and regulatory affairs. He also brings wide-ranging experience to the solar industry as a long-time veteran of Capitol Hill. Prior to his work with NBB, Feraci served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Kenny Hulshof (R-MO). He has over 14 years experience working for Republican members of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over many issues critical to the solar industry.
"It is an honor to work on behalf of the fastest growing industry in America," said Feraci. "Increased efficiency and innovative business models have dramatically reduced the cost of solar energy, and the expanded use of solar is consistent with a national energy strategy that values job creation, economic investment, and diversifies the nation's energy supply in a clean and safe manner. I look forward to constructively working with lawmakers to promote stable, reliable policy that allows our nation to reap the multiple benefits the solar industry has to offer."
In addition to the new hire, SEIA has also announced that Dan Adamson, formerly Vice President Government Affairs for SEIA, will expand the trade group's regulatory efforts as V.P. of Regulatory Affairs. Adamson brings more than 15 years of experience on energy regulatory issues to his new role - including senior positions at both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) and work as regulatory counsel for energy clients during his tenure as a Partner at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.
"As the solar industry continues to mature, SEIA needs to address many more areas of legislative and regulatory policy," Adamson said. "Regulatory policy - at FERC,the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and DOE and other agencies that interact with the solar industry – is becoming increasingly important as the solar industry grows. The expansion of SEIA's expertise in these areas is a good sign of our growing reach in Washington."
Finally, SEIA announced that Tom Kimbis has been promoted to Vice President of Strategy & External Affairs. Kimbis was previously the Director of Policy and Research. In his new role, Kimbis will help develop growth strategy for SEIA and the solar industry, as well as oversee the development of SEIA's strategic partnerships, communications, research and member growth. Before coming to SEIA, Kimbis served as Acting Program Manager for the DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Program.
"The U.S. solar industry is at a crossroads," Kimbis said. "This market is on the cusp of becoming the largest solar market in the world, but we still have work to do to reach the industry's goal of powering 2 million more homes each and every year by 2015. It will take a sustained effort to enact market-based policy at the federal, state and local effort that move the needle for solar. SEIA has greatly expanded its capacity in market research, public outreach and communications and I look forward to coordinating these capabilities to reach the industry's goal."
"We have an unprecedented opportunity as an industry," said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. "The solar industry is the fastest growing industry in America. And a robust, highly-experienced, highly-professional trade association is a critical piece of our industry's success. I am excited by our growth and staff diversification at SEIA and am looking forward to taking on the many opportunities and challenges that face our industry in the coming months and years. With our new senior management team in place the industry can expect to see great things from SEIA."
The U.S. solar market had a banner year in 2010 with the industry's total market value growing 67 percent to $6 billion in total revenue, according to the "Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2010" report jointly produced by SEIA and GTM Research. In total, enough solar was installed in 2010 to power nearly 200,000 homes.
The U.S. market is distinguishable from any other solar market in the world in that it has robust market and geographic diversification. A total of 16 states installed at least 10 megawatts of new solar capacity in 2010 and all three market segments - residential, commercial and utility-scale - claimed at least 25 percent of total market share. Innovative, market-based policy at the federal and state level combined with new business models and technology costs were the key drivers of this growth and will continue to drive robust growth in 2011 and beyond.
The growth of the industry during the last five years has corresponded perfectly with the growth of SEIA, the industry's leading trade association. In 2007, SEIA had four staff members. Today, SEIA has grown to a staff of more than 30 and expects to hire many more in 2011 as the organization continues to expand the portfolio of industry issues it advances, including increased emphasis on market research and state-level policy.
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 is working to build a strong solar industry to power America. 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.