The Solar Energy Industries Association announced the completion of a summer advocacy blitz, visiting members of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Top 100 solar congressional districts across the United States.
Exactly 107 congressional districts rank in the Top 50 of one of these categories: total solar capacity, number of solar installations, solar jobs and solar companies. SEIA visited with 101 of these offices to educate members and staff about the robust solar businesses in their districts, and how policymakers can ensure continued job growth and investment.
The 107 congressional districts included in SEIA’s advocacy blitz are diverse with Republican (42) and Democratic (65) members, an example of the apolitical nature of the solar industry. Illustrative of this is the fact the top congressional district for solar capacity is represented by House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), with more than 2,400 megawatts installed, and the top district for solar employment is represented by House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), with more than 10,000 jobs in her district.
“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,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “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.”
In addition to educating these offices about the growth of the industry in their districts, SEIA shared its positions on key policy priorities, while promoting the newly-formed, bipartisan Congressional Solar Caucus.
Policy priorities include: Seeking congressional engagement with the Treasury Department which recently secured favorable commence construction guidance, enacting an expansion of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for energy storage, protecting Department of Energy programs that support renewable energy, and the important role solar can play in increasing communities’ resilience to storms.
“Producing over 1,500 megawatts and nearly 1,000 jobs in my Congressional district, solar energy is a critical part of our energy infrastructure,” said Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA). “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.”
“Massachusetts has long been a leader in solar energy, and I am proud that my district is home to more than 1,200 solar jobs,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA). “This industry is a critical force for good in fighting climate change and growing our economy with good jobs. I applaud the work that SEIA does to help continue the booming growth of clean energy in America.”
“Not only is California’s 24th Congressional District home to some of the most beautiful coastline in the country, I am proud that it is home to over 1,100 megawatts of solar energy and nearly 3,000 solar jobs, making it one of the strongest and fastest-growing industries in the region, particularly in the energy sector,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA). “I commend SEIA’s Top 100 Solar District campaign and I urge my colleagues in the House to recognize the growth of this important technology – often right in their backyards – and support policies that help it continue to thrive.”
As part of the advocacy push, SEIA also awarded several Senators and Representatives the Solar Champion Award for their work to help strengthen solar power in America. The awardees include Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Reps. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC).
News item from SEIA