The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

And the Winner Is: Professionals and Corporations Recognized for Outstanding Work in Solar at SPI

Solar Power International served as a perfect stage for several organizations to honor industry professionals for their hard work and dedication to the solar industry.

David Bissell of Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative was named Utility CEO of the Year by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). Bissell was recognized for his hard work in bringing solar power to the island of Kaua’i with creative financing strategies. Not only is he promoting more solar projects, he also established a laboratory for innovation in engineering and utility finance, which developed plans to help cut the cost of Kaua’i utility-scale solar in half – a $200 per MWh in 2011 is now close to $100 per MWh.

“We are proud to honor David for his long-term vision, and his accomplishments in driving down costs and bringing the benefits of solar to all residents of Kaua‘I,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA President and CEO.

Several U.S. companies were named Solar Champions for their utilization of solar energy by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Those awarded, which include Costco, Walmart, IKEA, General motors and FedEx, are among the Top 25 Corporate Solar Users in the U.S. that have collectively increased their solar capacity by 48 percent in just one year.

“Corporate use of clean solar energy is step forward in America’s efforts to become energy independent, while creating jobs and boosting local economies,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “We’re proud to salute these companies as Solar Champions.”

On the show floor, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) hosted an awards extravaganza at Solar Central for their 3iAwards, which recognize exemplary people, projects and programs in renewable energy. Eight awards were given in several different categories.  

The State & Local Government Project of the Year was given to the California Public Utilities Commission for its Rule 21 Interconnection Tariff, which simplifies interconnection for distributed generation projects. Community Renewable Project of the Year was awarded to Solar San Antonio in Texas for its Bring Solar Home Campaign, which combines public outreach, marketing strategies and financing options into a program that makes going solar easy and affordable. The Clean Energy Training Program of the Year is the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, Penn., which works to promote sustainable and socially equitable energy for those in the Mid-Atlantic region by offering green job training, weatherization services and educational workshops.  Clean Energy Trainers of the Year went to Clay Sterling of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and Tomothy Wilhelm of Kanakee Community College (KCC) for their work in clean energy education.

Four special recognition awards were given to Roy Swift, Ph.D., American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and senior program director of Personnel Credentialing Accreditation Program for his commitment to building a skilled green workforce; David Clements, International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI)CEO for his work to ensure safety and quality training for inspectors of solar PV installations; Commissioners Hermina Morita, Lorraine Akiba and Michael Champley of the The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, who shepherded a plan to enable more rooftop solar systems to connect to the grid; and the County of San Bernardino, California, for reinforcing the need for clean energy training credentials.

Lead image: Trophies via Shutterstock


The Rapid Rise of Residential Energy Storage

Markus Elsässer, Solar Promotion International (Intersolar) Energy storage is heralded as the critical technology that will make widespread adoption of renewable energy possible. Storage bottles sunlight, addressing a key drawback to solar energy — that it can’t provide electricity ...

Testing Heats Up at Sandia's Solar Tower

Rebecca Brock, Sandia National Lab Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are working to lower the cost of solar energy systems and improve efficiencies in a big way, thanks to a system of small particles. This month, engineers lifted Sandia’s continuou...

Advanced Energy Retreats from Solar Inverter Market

Cormac Gilligan, IHS Technology US inverter supplier Advanced Energy yesterday announced it would wind down its solar inverter business having failed to attract a buyer for this part of its business. This follows intense competition and price pressure due...

Behavioral Economics and the Solar PV Industry

Paula Mints Behavioral economic theory holds that human interactions are complex and that economic motivations include nuance beyond that of maximizing utility. This is certainly true of the global solar industry as throughout its hist...
As associate editor of, I coordinate and edit feature stories, contributed articles, news stories, opinion pieces and blogs. I also research and write content for and REW magazine. I manage


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon



NFMT Orlando

NFMT Orlando is a trade show and educational conference for facility pro...

Green Sports Alliance Summit

The annual Green Sports Alliance Summit is the world’s largest and...

SAP for Utilities

The SAP for Utilities conference is the most comprehensive SAP for Utili...


Everything You Need to Know About Intersolar 2015

The Intersolar North America exhibition and conference are just two week...

Renewables make huge strides globally in 2014

Renewable sources of energy are making an increasing impact on the globa...

LSX welcomes companies to the next generation of office space

Silicon Valley sports a brand new LEED Platinum standards...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now