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Bidding Farewell To The Solar Energy Industries Association

Friday, Apr 15 2016

Rhone Resch

After twelve remarkable years at the helm of SEIA, I have decided to step down as President and CEO on May 31st. I leave feeling confident that SEIA will carry on the significant progress the organization has made during my tenure.

As I consider the next steps in fulfilling my own career goals, I can’t help but look back on my time with deep gratitude for the great people I have met along the way. From the individual members who are building this industry one installation at a time, to the many mentors who have served on the Executive Committee and the Board, to solar champions of all kinds who motivated me to fight as hard as I could for solar, this has been an incredible professional experience.  

During my time with SEIA, we collectively installed more than 30 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy, increased US jobs by more than 200,000 and forced the cost of solar down by more than 80%. This growth pumped more than $150 billion into the U.S. economy during difficult economic times. 

We passed the investment tax credit (ITC) that jump started the industry in 2005, worked tirelessly to ensure the ITC never expired and most recently executed an ITC extension that will provide unprecedented market stability for the industry through 2023. We expanded state RPS’s across the country and protected and enhanced net energy metering laws to expand markets for distributed solar. We created dozens of initiatives that streamlined the siting, permitting and financing of large-scale solar energy projects. And we co-created Solar Power International (SPI), which is now rated as one of the “top 50 conferences and trade shows” in the country.

We also grew SEIA into one of the most politically effective trade associations in Washington D.C. and in state capitals across the country. Since 2004, SEIA expanded from an association with a budget of $350,000 and 65 members to one with a $12 million budget and about 1,000 member companies today. And together we created a powerful, single voice for the solar industry, representing all technologies and all markets, including residential, commercial and industrial and utility-scale solar.

I am inspired by and proud of these accomplishments, but most importantly, I am thankful to have worked with some of the smartest and hardest-working people I have ever met. SEIA has truly become my second family, and I could not be prouder of each staff member and their dedication to our mission.

I am honored to have made a small contribution to help create an industry that has such a positive impact on the U.S. economy, energy security and the environment. With the ITC effectively extended through 2023 and solar energy markets growing throughout the country, now is the right time for me to move on to new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  

Again, thank you for the trust you have put in me to lead such a worthwhile and noble organization.    

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