First-Ever Solar Foundation Awards Recognize Achievement in Solar Energy Production and Use

Recipients honored at annual Summer Solstice event

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, conferred its first-ever "Solar Foundation Awards" to companies and organizations making significant contributions to advancing the use of solar energy worldwide. The inaugural cohort of awardees was recognized in a short ceremony at TSF's annual Summer Solstice party, held each year on downtown Washington, D.C. rooftops the Friday before the solstice.

Awardees were recognized for excellence in one of four categories: (1) "Industry Achievement", awarded to companies who have pioneered new ways to use, make, or finance solar energy systems; (2) "Technology Innovation", given to individuals, companies, or organizations who have shown promising or noteworthy leadership in engineering and technology development; (3) "K-12 Schools", bestowed upon an individual, school, or company who has made a lasting impact at a K-12 school through the integration and use of solar, and; (4) "International Programs", awarded to solar companies or nonprofits that have used solar to improve quality of life in the developing world.

"Given how quickly the solar industry is evolving, it is important to occasionally reflect on and recognize the milestones and innovations that mark the global rise of solar. This pause reminds us of the importance of incremental changes in policy or design in revolutionizing solar markets," said Andrea Luecke, TSF's Executive Director.

The Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy (AIRE) took home the "Industry Achievement" award for their efforts in developing an innovative financing model designed to allow non-profit and government solar customers to access tax credits and other incentives previously available only to tax-paying entities. SAGE Electrochromics received the "Technology Innovation" award for creating an electronically tintable glass that provides building tenants with a new means of controlling the amount of sunlight entering the spaces they occupy. The "K-12 Schools" award went to Trina Solar in recognition of their Antelope Valley Union High School District solar energy project, totaling 9.6 MW of solar capacity spread over 10 school district buildings. The final award, for "International Programs", was given to EarthSpark International, a non-profit organization active in expanding the use of solar energy in Haiti.

"We are honored to have been selected for the Solar Foundation's Technology Innovation award. This honor is particularly gratifying since it comes from our industry peers and recognizes our leadership and commitment to improving solar control," said John Van Dine, CEO and Founder of SAGE Electrochromics. "SageGlass not only helps save energy, but also enables more elegant building design while enhancing the experience and productivity of the building's occupants."  

Awardees were selected from dozens of excellent nominations by TSF's Awards Committee, comprised of top leaders from across the solar industry, including the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), and The Solar Foundation.

"The fact that there were so many noteworthy submissions made our job on the Awards Committee difficult, but it is also testament to how competitive and strong the solar industry has become," said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. "While these four awardees are highly deserving of a Solar Foundation Award, there are dozens more companies and individuals that are also doing extraordinary things to bring solar to Americans."

This year's Summer Solstice fundraiser was held on the rooftop of the international law firm White & Case LLP. As in years past, TSF's Summer Solstice attracted some of the most influential and interesting clean energy-minded individuals from across the nation. In addition to the awards ceremony, guests won great prizes through our annual raffle and silent auction and enjoyed great music, food, drink, and conversation as we watched the sun set on the longest day of the year.

Background Materials:

The Solar Foundation's 3rd Annual Summer Solstice Party:

Solar Foundation Awards Nomination Flyer: for Nominations - The Solar Foundation Awards at Solstice 2013.pdf

Awardee Projects:

Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy:

Sage Electrochromics:

Trina Solar:

EarthSpark International:

About The Solar Foundation:

The Solar Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-lobbying organization founded in 1977 that strives to increase the widespread adoption of solar energy through educational outreach, policy research, and market transformation. Read more at

Media Contact: Andrea Luecke, The Solar Foundation, 2024693732,

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SOURCE The Solar Foundation



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