SEIA Elects New Division Chairmen, Establishes Policy, EH&S Committees

SEIA Board announces new division, renames CSP Division and adds

Environmental, Health and. Safety Committee, reflecting market growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a meeting yesterday, the Board of Directors of the Solar Energy Industries Association announced the new slate of division leaders and the addition of a new division.The board also voted to rename a division and to establish new committees for policy and for environmental, health and safety.


President & CEO Rhone Resch reported that SEIA members elected leaders of their Photovoltaic (PV), Solar Thermal, Utility-Scale Solar, and Solar Advocates divisions.The new chairs and vice chairs will serve from 2009 – 2011, representing their respective division on SEIA’s board of directors.The elected chairs are as follows:


PV Division Chairman Jeff Wolfe, of groSolar.Jeff co-founded groSolar in 1998 in Vermont.Since that time, he has steadily grown his business into a nationwide company that employs more than 130.Before he opened groSolar, Jeff was in HVAC consulting engineering for building design, eventually becoming a partner in the national firm of Bard, Rao+ Athanas Consulting Engineers.He opened and operated their Chicago office.


Solar Thermal Division Chairman Les Nelson, of Western Renewables.Les is the President of the Western Renewables Group.He has served on the SEIA Board of Directors since 1994 and the California SEIA Board since 1986.He is alsothe Executive Director of the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation, which rates and certifies solar thermal equipment.


Utility-Scale Solar Division Chairman Fred Morse, of Morse Associates and Abengoa Solar.As President of Morse Associates, a renewable energy consulting firm incorporated in 1989, Fred as been the Senior Advisor of U.S. operations for Abengoa Solar, Inc.He first became involved in the solar field in the 1960’s as Executive Director of the White House Assessment of Solar Energy as a National Energy Resources.He was also was co‐Chairman of the Western Governors’ Association Solar Task Force and a member of the New Mexico CSP Task Force.


Solar Advocates Division Chair Laura Jones, of Hunton and Williams.Laura brings experience in both the solar industry and law.As a partner at Hunton & Williams LLP , Laura has worked on a presentation on the “Solar PPA Model and Utility Regulation.”Her firm represents all facets of the industry, including developers, utilities, customers, and financiers.


Vice chairs for the divisions are:


PV Division Vice Chairman Barry Cinnamon, of Akeena Solar.

Solar Thermal Division Vice Chairman Mark Thornbloom, of Viessmann Manufacturing Company, Inc.


Utility-Scale Solar Division Vice Chairman Joshua Bar-Lev, of Brightsource.


“These leaders cover the diverse technology and business interests of the solar energy industry,” said Resch.“Their knowledge and experience in this growing industry make them respected voices for the solar industry and valuable additions to SEIA’s board.”


The board voted to accept a proposal to rename the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Division to the Utility-Scale Solar Division to better reflect market changes and the composition of division membership.Utility-scale solar technology encompasses both concentrating solar power and photovoltaic technologies.The board also acknowledged the formation of the new Solar Advocates division that represents the growth of financial, law, and consulting firms involved in the solar industry.


Reflecting the growing crop of renewable energy policy issues, the industry group board also voted to create a new Policy Committee to evaluate and craft SEIA policy positions in support of its government affairs activity.


The solar industry is an emerging industry with entrepreneurs committed to solving environmental challenges, as well as creating strong, ethically managed companies.To reflect the commitment of SEIA’s membership to being responsible stewards of the environment, the board created an Environmental, Health, and Safety Committee (EH&S) to track issues and help determine appropriate standards for the growing U.S. solar sector.


“The solar industry is committed to solving environmental challenges, not creating them,” said Resch.“SEIA’s Environmental, Health & Safety Committee was established to identify and address potential challenges with proactive solutions.”


“For example, industry leaders recognize the need to plan now to recycle solar panels when they reach the end of their useful life in the next 25 to 30 years,” added Resch.


About SEIA:

Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of solar energy industry. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Learn more at