The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) hosted an “Advocacy Blitz” in the House of Representatives Wednesday, sitting down with the 101 reps that represent the top 100 solar congressional districts to talk policy, industry development and to hand out Solar Champion Awards for work in strengthening the U.S. solar market and industry.
SEIA spoke with 101 of the 107 representatives whose districts appear in the top 50 rankings of total solar capacity, number of solar installations, solar jobs and solar companies. Among the meetings included U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), whose 12th district is home to more than 10,000 solar jobs, making it the top in the country and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who represents the top district for installed solar capacity, California’s 23rd with over 2,400 megawatts.
According to SEIA the major points of conversation were expanding the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for energy storage, protecting Department of Energy programs that support renewable energy, the reliability that solar can provide in the face of natural disasters and promotion of the bipartisan Congressional Solar Caucus.
“Many Members of Congress do not know what a robust solar industry they have in their district, making this advocacy blitz to educate representatives and staff a critical step in continuing our industry’s growth across the country,” shared SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper in a release. “We have long said that solar is a bipartisan economic engine and visiting the top 100 solar districts this summer was a clear indicator that that is the case.”
While SEIA and Hopper focused partially on educating those representatives that were unaware of the growing and or thriving markets in their districts, many were well aware and proud of the accomplishment, like U.S. Representative Paul Cook (R), of California’s 8th congressional district.
Per Rep. Cook:
“Producing over 1,500 megawatts and nearly 1,000 jobs in my Congressional district, solar energy is a critical part of our energy infrastructure. I’m committed to establishing America’s energy independence, so we aren’t subjected to the whims and problems of foreign nations, and I’m committed to creating good-paying jobs for my constituents. Through responsible growth, the solar industry is helping to achieve both goals. I applaud SEIA’s efforts to educate my fellow Members of Congress on the recent success of the industry and what is to come in the years ahead.”
The illustrious Solar Champion Awards were given to a litany of devoted solar industry politicians in both the House and Senate, with SEIA sharing that Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cory Gardner (R-CO), as well as Reps. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) were among those recognized.