Are You the Next Renewable Energy Hero?

When Walt Ratterman passed away during this winter’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, he left behind a legacy defined by hard work, creativity and the drive to help people in need. As the co-founder of the non-profit SunEnergy Power International, he worked to install solar on schools and hospitals in developing countries.

Many people who get into the renewable energy industry do so for that reason: To help people in need, both in the U.S. and internationally. After all, on-site renewables like solar have the unique ability to provide fast, scalable, on-site energy solutions to areas with limited access to the grid. Ratterman, like so many other solar heroes doing similar work, saw the need to bring that solution to impoverished communities.

In order to encourage a new generation of professionals like Ratterman, NABCEP, the leading solar certification body in North America, is setting up an award to recognize people who develop public-service oriented renewable energy projects. The projects, which should be done at no charge for a charitable cause, must be installed by a NABCEP certificant.

If you’re a NABCEP certified installer, or if you know of a colleague who is, then you might want to send in a nomination for a worthy person or project. You have until December 31 of this year to send something in.

Who knows – maybe you could be recognized as the next hero of the industry. That probably shouldn’t be your reason to do charitable work. But it’s always nice to be noticed for your good deeds.

For more on Walt Ratterman, listen to our recent podcast on his important work.


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I am a reporter with, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in touch through twitter! My profile name is: Stphn_Lacey

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