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Entries in Lobbyists (198)

Wednesday
Jan132016

SEIA - Solar Industry Commends President Obama’s #SOTU Commitment to Clean Energy 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following is a statement from Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address: 

“In his final State of the Union, President Obama made it abundantly clear that solar energy is a key solution for America as we usher in the era of clean energy development.

“Since the president took office in 2009, the cost of solar energy has dropped by more than 70 percent, there's 30 times the amount of solar generation and our industry has created 173,000 American jobs. Solar energy growth will continue because it is affordable, improves the air we breathe and creates strong American jobs.

“As the President noted, solar development is saving American households millions of dollars every year in energy costs, and those savings will continue to accumulate year after year. The next president will benefit from this domestic economic engine. Between 2016 and 2020, our industry will pump $132 billion into the American economy and solar generation will quadruple, supplying enough electricity to power 20 million homes.

"Today, nearly 209,000 Americans work in the U.S. solar industry, according to a report issued today by The Solar Foundation. One in every 83 new jobs in 2015 was a solar job and within five years, there will be 420,000 Americans working in the solar industry.

"As an industry, we look forward to carrying out President Obama’s vision for solar development during his final year in office and well beyond.”


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About SEIA®:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

 

Thursday
Dec172015

SEIA Commends Congressional Leaders for Including ITC Extension in Omnibus Bill 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following is a statement from Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), on the inclusion of a five-year solar investment tax credit (ITC) extension in the omnibus appropriations bill filed this morning by the U.S. House of Representatives:

"By extending the solar investment tax credit for five years with a commence construction provision and a gradual ramp down, bipartisan members in both Houses have reestablished America as the global leader in clean energy, which will boost our economy and create thousands of jobs across America. 

Currently there are 200,000 solar jobs, and the extension is likely to add another 140,000 jobs or more. And with this extension, the solar industry can achieve its pledge of employing 50,000 veterans by 2020, a goal our industry takes very seriously.  These jobs are stable, well-paying and cannot be exported overseas.

A five-year extension of the ITC will lead to more than $125 billion in new, private sector investment in the U.S. economy. And much of this growth will come from small businesses, which make up more than 85 percent of America’s 8,000 solar companies. Over the last year, these companies told us they needed the extension of the ITC to provide their businesses with certainty, and SEIA has been working tirelessly to achieve that goal. Tonight, we’re happy to see that Congress has responded.

Solar power in this nation will triple by 2022, hitting 95 gigawatts. That’s enough to power 19 million homes and represents 3.5 percent of U.S. electricity generation- up from 0.1 percent in 2010. And the extension will offset 100 million metric tons of CO2 annually- equivalent to the emissions from 26 coal fired power plants. 

We commend members of Congress in both parties for taking this bold step and we look forward to delivering on the promise that this policy now offers all Americans for clean, affordable and reliable energy."



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About SEIA®:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
Sunday
Dec132015

OpenDemocracy - Report Finds Kinder Morgan Spent Millions of Dollars on Lobbying and Political Donations 

 

As NED Pipeline Fight Heats Up, Report Finds Kinder Morgan Spent Millions of Dollars on Lobbying and Political Donations Since 2014

MANCHESTER, NH – Texas-based energy giant Kinder Morgan has spent over $2.5 million in lobbying and campaign donations since 2014, even as it is seeking approval for a controversial new natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire and Massachusetts, according to a new analysis of lobbying and campaign finance records by the nonpartisan organization Open Democracy. 

The analysis finds that Kinder Morgan Inc. and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP began lobbying in New Hampshire and Massachusetts concurrent with the introduction of its Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline proposal in each state. The company spent $53,500 to lobby New Hampshire state government officials in 2014 and an estimated $70,780 in 2015, more than any single public interest, non-profit, or labor organization. 

Fig. 1: Kinder Morgan Lobbying Expenditures in NH and MA since 2011 (2015 data incomplete)  

 

The company also spent $148,500 to lobby Massachusetts officials in 2014 and $301,334 in 2015, prior to year-end disclosures. No lobbying expenditures were reported in New Hampshire prior to 2014 when the proposed pipeline route was changed to include seventeen southern NH towns. Kinder Morgan reported $20,000 and $60,000 in Massachusetts state lobbying in 2012 and 2013, respectively. 

Analysis of federal lobbying expenditures finds several Kinder Morgan companies including Kinder Morgan, Inc., Kinder Morgan Co2, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, and Kinder Morgan Bulk Terminals have engaged in extensive lobbying activities over the last twelve years. Kinder Morgan reported spending $170,000 to-date in 2015, including $110,000 specifically targeted at the NED pipeline proposal which is pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The five-member commission of presidential appointees is expected to approve or reject the proposal next year.

In addition to its reported federal and state lobbying activities in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and other states, Kinder Morgan executives have made significant campaign contributions in recent years, according to the Open Democracy analysis. At least ten Kinder Morgan employees made state and federal campaign contributions totaling more than $3 million in 2014-16. Company Chairman Richard Kinder and his wife Nancy accounted for the bulk of the contributions, giving $2 million to the Right to Rise Super PAC supporting presidential candidate Jeb Bush. 

Texas Senator Ted Cruz received $11,400 in campaign contributions from Kinder Morgan employees to his 2012 Senate campaign and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a $1,000 contribution in 2015. Former House Speaker John Boehner received $90,200 in campaign contributions. 

Fig. 2: Kinder Morgan Contributions to 2016 Presidential Candidates 

Candidate

Amount

Year

Jeb Bush

$2,205,829

2015

Hillary Clinton

$1,000

2015

Ted Cruz*

$11,400

2012

TOTAL

$2,218,229

 

At the state level, NH Governor Maggie Hassan and MA Governor Charlie Baker received $2,000 and $1,000 in campaign contributions, respectively, from Richard and Nancy Kinder in 2014. 

All told, the analysis found $397,950 in federal and $557,000 in state campaign contributions from Kinder Morgan executives in 2014, and at least $2,211,269 in contributions to 2016 federal campaigns to-date. Analysis of campaign contributions over time finds a total of estimated $5.3 million since 2000, 87 percent of which was given to Republicans (2014-16 partisan contributions breakdown is estimated).

Fig. 3: Kinder Morgan Contributions to State and Federal Candidates and Super PACs, 2000-2015

Year

Total Amount

Republican

Democrat

2000

$329,388

97%

3%

2002

$315,996

99%

1%

2004

$375,562

96%

1%

2006

$126,061

82%

18%

2008

$152,555

63%

36%

2010

$433,849

61%

38%

2012

$389,110

97%

1%

2014

$982,689

92%

3%

2016

$2,211,269

99%

1%

TOTAL

$5,316,479

87%

11%

##

Open Democracy is a Concord, NH-based nonpartisan organization that works for transparent and accountable governance in the Granite State. Learn more at www.OpenDemocracy.me.

Thursday
Dec102015

SEIA - U.S. Solar Market Prepares for Biggest Quarter in History 

BOSTON, MASS. and WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new report shows 2015 shaping up to be the United States solar market’s best year in history with record-breaking fourth quarter projections.

The U.S. installed 1,361 megawatts[i] (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the third quarter of the year.  According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, Q3 2015, this marks the eighth consecutive quarter in which the U.S. has installed more than a gigawatt (GW) of PV capacity.

“This past quarter marked the calm before the storm,” said GTM Research Senior Solar Analyst Cory Honeyman. “The one-gigawatt mark for quarterly capacity additions will serve as a distant floor as project developers ramp up installations in the next five quarters before the planned step down of the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).”

GTM Research expects the fourth quarter of this year to be the largest quarter for solar installations in U.S. history. Led by the utility-scale segment, the United States will install more than three GW. Looking further out, cumulative PV installations will nearly double between now and the end of 2016, bringing the nationwide total to 41 GW.

FIGURE: Cumulative U.S. PV Installed Capacity, 2007-2016E

Source: GTM Research / SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight

The utility-scale market continues to lead the U.S. solar market. Utility-scale PV installations made up 42 percent of the nationwide total, while residential installations accounted for 41 percent. Additionally, the residential market hit another new quarterly record as it grew 69 percent year-over year.

Despite some inconsistencies in the non-residential market, the report notes this segment also made progress, increasing 4 percent year-over-year and 19 percent over last quarter.

FIGURE: U.S PV Installations, 2010-Q3 2015

Source: GTM Research / SEIA U.S. Solar Market Insight

GTM Research forecasts that the U.S. solar PV market as a whole will grow 19 percent over 2014 and will reach 7.4 GW by the end of 2015.

“Year after year, we’re seeing the demand for solar energy in America skyrocket, and the benefits that brings to both our nation’s economy and environment are staggering,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA President and CEO. “As we gear up for what’s expected to be an unprecedented year for our industry, and nation, this report reveals just how important it is to maintain smart, effective, forward-looking public policies, like the ITC.”

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The U.S. installed 1,361 MWdc of solar PV in Q3 2015, marking the eighth consecutive quarter in which the U.S. added more than 1 GWdc of PV installations.
  • Throughout the first three quarters of 2015, 30% of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the U.S. came from solar.
  • As of Q3 2015, more than 50% of all states in the U.S. have more than 50 MWdc of cumulative solar PV installed.
  • Totaling 18.7 GWdc, the current utility PV development pipeline is greater than all U.S. PV installations brought on-line through the end of 2014.
  • GTM Research forecasts that 7.4 GWdc of new PV installations will come on-line in 2015, up 19% over 2014. Growth will occur in the residential and utility PV segments, while for the second straight year, non-residential solar will dip 5%.
  • 2014 was the largest year ever for concentrating solar power, with 767 MWac brought on-line. The next notable CSP project slated for completion is SolarReserve’s 110 MWac Crescent Dunes, which entered the commissioning phase in 2014 and is expected to become fully operational by early 2016.


[i] Unless specified otherwise, all PV is reported in direct current (dc) based on array size and all CSP is reported in alternating current (ac) based on power block size. For more information, see http://www.seia.org/policy/solar-technology/photovoltaic-solar-electric/whats-megawatt


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About U.S. Solar Market Insight:

The U.S. Solar Market Insight report is the most detailed and timely research available on the continuing growth and opportunity in the U.S. The report includes deep analysis of solar markets, technologies and pricing, identifying the key metrics that will help solar decision-makers navigate the market's current and forecasted trajectory. For more information, visit www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmi

About SEIA®:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

About GTM Research:

GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, provides critical and timely market analysis in the form of research reports, data services, advisory services and strategic consulting. GTM Research's analysis also underpins Greentech Media's webinars and live events. Our coverage spans the green energy industry including solar power, grid edge and energy storage.

Wednesday
Dec022015

SEIA - New report finds more American businesses are installing solar than ever before 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Growth in the use of solar energy has surged 183 percent among America’s top companies in the four years since the first Solar Means Business report was published. The study released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) also shows a 59 percent growth in solar installations since just last year.

For the fourth year in a row, Walmart ranked No.1 in the Solar Means Business report, which identifies major commercial solar projects and ranks top corporate solar users. The big box retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., boasts a robust 142 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity at 348 locations.

Other top companies recognized for both their amount of solar capacity and number of solar installations include Kohl’s, Apple, Macy’s, Walgreens, Target, IKEA, Prologis, FedEx, Intel, General Motors, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Bed Bath & Beyond, Safeway, Hartz Mountain, Staples, L’Oreal, Kaiser Permanente and Toyota.

“These blue-chip companies have realized investing in solar is a common-sense, cost-effective decision that pays dividends for both the environment and their bottom lines,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “Not only are they helping to create thousands of American jobs in solar, the nearly 1,700 systems currently in operation are generating enough clean, reliable electricity to offset nearly 890,000 metric tons of harmful carbon emissions a year.”

"Solar is an important part of our renewable energy program,” said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart. “We believe in advancing solar deployment by pursuing projects that make business sense.  In fact, in 2014 we committed to doubling the number of on-site solar energy projects at our U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020.  We’re excited about our continued work towards meeting that goal and appreciate being acknowledged by SEIA for these efforts."

The report notes that growth in corporate solar adoption is no longer limited to traditional solar markets, but that “solar is a smart business decision wherever your business may be.”

Combined, America’s top corporate solar users installed 1,686 systems totaling 907 MW of solar. Representing a “Who’s Who” of the corporate world, these companies are playing an increasingly important role in the development, expansion and promotion of solar nationwide, while also reducing their operating expenses, benefiting customers and shareholders alike.

“Prioritizing renewable energy options like solar power at our facilities not only helps us reduce our spending on traditional energy but also reduces business risk and our impact on climate change,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. “As a result, we regained our ranking as the top automotive user of solar in the U.S.” 

“Over the last decade, L’Oreal USA has been persistent in improving our environmental performance through innovative sustainability solutions,” said Jonathan Maher, Vice President of CSR & Sustainability at L’Oreal USA. “SEIA’s efforts to promote solar energy usage align with our approach to examine every opportunity to increase our solar output, as shown in the latest Solar Means Business ranking. Our significant solar capabilities and energy efficiency achievements are thanks to our dedicated employees and facilities, who continue to infuse social and environmental sustainability into every aspect of L’Oréal’s business.”

The 2.7 MW solar array at FedEx's facility in Hagerstown, MD consists of nearly 9,000 individual modules and offsets 37% of their electricity demand. Photo credit: FedEx

“FedEx is committed to connecting the world responsibly and resourcefully,” said Mitch Jackson, vice president of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, FedEx Corporation. “This includes minimizing impacts on the environment with our 15 solar installations, helping us avoid more than 4,600 metric tons of CO2 emissions in FY15, reducing our environmental footprint.”

“Solar energy is an integral part of Intel’s renewable energy portfolio, and we are committed to embracing, evaluating and implementing new projects and innovative learnings around the world,” said Marty Sedler, director of Global Utilities and Infrastructure at Intel Corporation. “Solar will continue to be a core part of our alternative energy solution because it provides leadership, helps spur the market, makes renewables more accessible, and reduces the overall carbon emissions from electricity generation directly used for our facilities.”

To read the report in full go to our multi-media landing page www.seia.org/solarmeansbiz. To see the complete rankings and learn more about the variations of commercial systems by both facility and array type go to: http://www.seia.org/sites/default/files/resources/KX84I2D13eSMB2015.pdf


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About SEIA®:

Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.