Oregon Foundation Gains Solar Industry Expert

Solar Industry insider and new Chairman of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), Tom Starrs, joined Oregon state’s Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) as Vice President of Marketing and Sales in order to expand and grow what has already been a successful renewable energy foundation.

Portland, Oregon – January 16, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “BEF’s renewable energy programs have been extremely successful, and we were looking for the right person to help us shape and sustain our growth in this area,” said Angus Duncan, President of BEF. “Tom’s extensive experience and national stature in the renewable energy policy arena made him an ideal candidate.” “BEF’s innovation and creativity has enabled much of the solar and wind energy development in the Pacific Northwest,” Starrs said. “Its approach is unique in the green power market because as a non-profit, it reinvests its net revenues in the development of new renewable projects. I look forward to helping the organization build on its tremendous record of success and to raising the visibility of its renewable energy and watershed restoration programs.” Rob Harmon, BEF’s Vice President of Renewable Energy Programs, explained how Starrs helped BEF to pioneer the development of green power markets based on the Green Tags concept several years ago, as an independent consultant working on the organization’s behalf. “We are delighted to welcome him back to the BEF family,” Harmon said. Green Tags, sometimes called Renewable Energy Certificates, are certificates that represent the environmental benefits from a specific amount of electricity from a wind turbine, solar panel or other renewable energy source. When non-polluting energy displaces energy produced from burning fossil fuels, there is a corresponding savings in greenhouse gases (primarily carbon dioxide) that is captured as the Green Tag. These have greatly helped create a market for renewable energy on a more industrial and widespread scale. Starrs comes to BEF from RWE Schott Solar where he was Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and a member of the Board of Directors. RWE Schott Solar is the sixth largest producer of solar power cells and modules worldwide. Starrs has a long history of commitment to the public interest in promoting a sustainable energy future, and will continue to fulfill his duties as Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASES, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT). BEF was established in 1998 to further the development and use of new renewable energy resources. Through revenues generated from the sales of green power products, BEF funds projects that restore damaged watersheds and support new renewable energy projects from solar, wind and biomass. BEF pioneered the sale of Green Tags in 2000 and has helped establish national standards for certification and trading. Created by regional environmental groups and the Bonneville Power Administration, the Foundation operates collaboratively with but independent of both.
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