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Hot Solar Summer: SEIA Rallies Lawmakers Across the Country to Act on Clean Energy Infrastructure

Thursday, Oct 21 2021

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SEIA Comms Team
SEIA joins Sec. Granholm and Sen. Van Hollen to launch SolarAPP+ and discuss clean energy infrastructure.

SEIA joins Sec. Granholm and Sen. Van Hollen to launch SolarAPP+ and discuss clean energy infrastructure.

For most of the year, Congress has been working on legislation that can deliver on the President’s Build Back Better vision to create American clean energy jobs and strengthen U.S. infrastructure. 

As lawmakers debate the policy details, it’s important that clean energy legislation provides long-term business certainty so companies can focus on deployment and make the investments needed to address the climate crisis and grow our economy. Policies that modernize the grid, invest in domestic manufacturing, and importantly, provide long-term certainty on tax policy, are the keys for driving that deployment. 

To make the case for this historic policy investment, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) launched Hot Solar Summer to highlight stories from local solar and storage businesses and showcase what’s possible if we enact policies that align with the president’s vision. 

Throughout the campaign, SEIA and industry advocates hosted federal leaders at solar project sites across the country to demonstrate the positive impact clean energy is having on local communities. The visits showcased the broad spectrum of projects in the solar industry, from residential installations in Maryland and Virginia to a tour of a solar-powered steel mill in Colorado, where solar workers and customers shared their stories of how policy certainty can accelerate the clean energy transition and tackle climate change. 

Lawmakers and Cabinet-level officials that attended these events saw firsthand how solar projects are fueling jobs and bringing clean energy to thousands of cities and small towns. 

Here are a few of the events that put the power of solar energy on display. 

Summer of Solar Kicks Off with the Launch of SolarAPP+
Montgomery County, MD 

On July 22, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) visited a local homeowner to learn how families can save money with a solar installation and how to expand the cost-saving benefits of solar to more Americans. The Secretary highlighted the Energy Department’s Summer of Solar kickoff and launched a new goal to have 125 communities sign-up to learn more about SolarAPP+, a software that is helping state and local governments streamline and automate permits for rooftop solar. By 2030, at least one in eight American homes will have solar installed, and SolarAPP+ will help streamline those installations and save critical resources for local governments. 

Expanding Solar Access at Standard Solar New MD Community Solar Project
Carroll County, MD

SEIA partnered with Standard Solar Inc. on September 9 to host U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), as well as other government and industry leaders for a site visit and guided tour of the Shepherds Mill Community Solar Project in Union Bridge, MD. The 2.8 megawatt system is providing electricity for over 200 homes in the community and includes a specific carve-out to ensure 30% of the project subscribers are low- to moderate-income households. All subscribers are guaranteed a 10% savings on their electric bill, and infrastructure legislation is our opportunity to bring clean power and energy savings to more families with projects like this.

Residential Solar Showcase in Virginia
Fairfax, VA

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Virginia House Delegate Karrie Delaney visited a residential solar installation on September 30 to learn more about the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and how it helps installers and customers alike. The lawmakers got the chance to hear directly from their constituents right in their backyard about how they were saving with solar. A local solar business owner also shared how adding direct pay to the ITC can provide more business certainty and help low-income families benefit. 

Manufacturing the Clean Energy Economy Here at Home
Savannah, GA

On October 8, U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited Savannah to highlight how clean energy policies will help grow the economy, create jobs and boost U.S. manufacturing. They toured the Seapoint Industrial Terminal Complex, a manufacturing and logistics hub featuring a 1-megawatt solar installation. SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper joined these federal leaders to discuss infrastructure negotiations in Washington, including Sen. Ossoff’s proposed Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, which would create a production tax credit to spur solar manufacturing in the United States.

Powering American Industry with Clean Energy 
Pueblo, CO

On October 13, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) visited the grand opening of Lightsource bp’s Bighorn Solar Project, the world’s first steel mill powered primarily by solar energy. This 300-megawatt installation also supports 1,000 local jobs. Utility-scale solar installations like the Bighorn Solar Project can save hundreds of thousands of metric tons of carbon every year, while powering local grids and generating tax revenue for communities. 

These events gave lawmakers a real-world look at how solar supports the local economy, empowering them to return to Washington with a better understanding of how additional clean energy policy can help their communities.

It’s time for Congress to be bold and create legislation that can meet the President’s clean energy goals and create millions of well-paying jobs for families across the country. 

Send a message to your representatives that it’s time to #BuildBackBetter with clean energy: seia.org/infrastructure.
 

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