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CCSA announces 2024 Community Solar Champions

36 Legislators, Policymakers, and Advocates from 12 States and 3 Federal Agencies Honored for their Role in Expanding Community Solar

WASHINGTON — The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) is celebrating 36 individuals and organizations as 2024 “Community Solar Champions” for their actions supporting and enabling the expansion of community solar programs across the country. This year’s class of Community Solar Champions comes from statehouses, federal agencies, advocacy organizations, and grassroots coalitions working to strengthen access across 12 states and to nurture progress of community solar nationwide.

“Our 2024 Community Solar Champions are in the trenches fighting for community solar every single day. They are on the front lines in a dozen states pushing to expand access to affordable clean energy, while lowering energy bills, creating jobs, and increasing grid resilience,” said Jeff Cramer, CEO of CCSA. “Their leadership comes at a critical time, with billions of dollars in federal funding flowing into states to deliver distributed solar energy to low-income and disadvantaged communities through EPA’s Solar For All program. These Champions can be proud of the work they have done to continue the momentum.”

Community solar ensures equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy by enabling customers to subscribe to local, shared solar arrays and receive a credit on their utility bills for their share of the power produced.

2024 has seen major legislative wins for community solar access in states like Colorado, Virginia, and Alaska. Our 2024 Champions also have worked tirelessly across the aisle and with a range of other energy stakeholders to deliver progress in states with existing community solar programs in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Maryland, and in states pushing for new community solar programs in California, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio. 

The stakes have never been higher. For example, in California, Champions continue leading the fight for CCSA’s proposed Net Value Billing Tariff, a market-tested approach that would enable more than one million Californians to save at least $300 per year on their electric bills, putting up to $9 billion dollars back in the wallets of hard-working Californians. While the CPUC recently voted down the NVBT, Champions have vowed to keep fighting.

“The 2024 Community Solar Champion awards celebrate recipients’ hard work and achievement. We hope their victories and progress, large and small, will inspire others to become champions of community solar,” said Cramer.

CCSA’s 2024 Community Solar Champions include:

California

For their tireless advocacy of community solar and strong support of CCSA’s  proposed Net Value Billing Tariff, as well as for championing community solar projects in their home districts:

  • Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego)
  • Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Merced)
  • Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield)
  • Assemblymember Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield)

Washington

For championing legislation to create Washington State’s first true, statewide community solar program and advocating for fairness in access to community solar statewide:

  • Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia)
  • Mason Rolph, Executive Director, Olympia Community Solar

Colorado

For their pivotal role in ushering in a new era for community solar in Colorado with the passage of Senate Bill 24-207:

  • Senate President Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder)
  • Sen. Chris Hansen (D-Denver)
  • Rep. Alex Valdez (D-Denver)
  • Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta)
  • Yaraneth Marin, Interior West Regional Director at Vote Solar
  • Tanner Simeon-Cox, Colorado Program Director, Solar United Neighbors
  • Daniel Ponton, Interior West Policy Manager, GRID Alternatives

Virginia

For navigating utility challenges and competing priorities to drive passage of two shared solar bills that enable the expansion of community solar to more Virginians throughout the Commonwealth while also reducing barriers to participation:

  • Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Arlington)
  • Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax)
  • Sen. David R. Suetterlein (R-Roanoke)
  • Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) 

Minnesota

For their leadership and unwavering support of community solar, including ensuring low-to-moderate income Minnesotans can gain access to clean energy while seeing a reduction in their monthly energy bills:  

  • Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (D-Brooklyn Park)
  • Michael Schmitz, Director, Office of Energy Assistance Programs

Alaska

For their collective effort in pushing successful passage of Senate Bill 152, “Saving Alaskans Money with Voluntary Clean Energy,” paving the way for access to cheap, clean energy for more than 330,000 Alaskans who live in rental housing or are below the Federal poverty level:

  • Senate Rules Committee Chairman Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage)
  • Philip Wight, Alaska Public Interest Research Group
  • Jenny-Marie Stryker, Political Director, Alaska Center 
  • Harmony Tomaszewski, Chairwoman, Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) Member Advisor Committee (MAC) 

Massachusetts

For his leadership in overcoming hurdles that impede clean energy progress in Massachusetts, with special recognition for his work on siting and permitting projects in the Commonwealth:

  • House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin)

 Iowa

For leading the charge for community solar legislation in Iowa and forcing the utilities to the table not once, but three times:

  • Sen. Waylon Brown (R-Osage)

Georgia

For doggedly pushing HB 1152, The Georgia Homegrown Solar Act of 2024, and navigating opposition and obstacles to advance community solar’s future in Georgia:

  • Rep. Beth Camp (R-Concord)

Missouri

For consistently standing up for free market energy markets in Missouri and refusing to give up on community solar legislation against all odds:

  • Rep. Aaron McMullen (R-Independence)

Ohio

For their critical leadership and outspoken advocacy of community solar, including standing up to significant opposition in pursuit of passage of HB 197:

  • Rep. James Hoops (R-Napoleon)
  • Rep. Sharon Ray (R-Wadsworth)

Louisiana

For their tireless drive to ensure the creation of the first economically viable      community solar program in the Southeast, helping to reduce energy bills, and expanding access to clean energy in underserved communities in New Orleans:

  • Together New Orleans (TNO) Louisiana

National

For their collective efforts in shaping the federal administration’s clean energy equity goals, including championing the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, Solar For All program, and Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program:

  • Anna Balzer, Solar Community Engagement Coordinator, National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP)
  • Anisha Steephen, Senior Advisor, Counselor for Racial Equity Office, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Ted Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax Policy and Delivery), U.S. Treasury Department
  • Medha Surampudy, Professional Staff Member, U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee
  • Jahi Wise, Senior Advisor to the Administrator and Acting Director for  the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Alexandra (Andie) Wyatt, Managing Policy Director and Counsel, GRID Alternatives

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About CCSA

CCSA is a national trade association representing over 125 community solar developers, businesses, and nonprofits. Together, we are building the electric grid of the future where every customer has the freedom to support the generation of clean, local solar energy to power their lives. Through legislative and regulatory advocacy, and the support of a diverse coalition — including advocates for competition, clean energy, ratepayers, landowners, farmers, and environmental justice — we enable policies that unlock the potential of distributed energy resources, starting with community solar. For more information, visit https://www.communitysolaraccess.org and follow the group on X (Twitter), LinkedIn, and Youtube.