U.S. Solar Industry Praises Rep. Bilbray’s Efforts to Promote Renewable Energy

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Bilbray votes to maintain Dept. of Energy loan guarantee program.

It takes true vision and courage to ignore politics and take a principled, fact-based stand in support of renewable energy.

The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®), the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry, today praised U.S. Representative Brian Bilbray (R-50th,CA ) for his support of solar energy in a key panel vote. Congressman Bilbray voted against legislation that would eliminate the successful Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Guarantee Program.

“The solar industry sincerely appreciates Congressman Bilbray’s vote to maintain the Loan Guarantee Program,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA President and CEO. “In this political environment, it takes true vision and courage to ignore politics and take a principled, fact-based stand in support of renewable energy. We appreciate his leadership on this issue.”

On July 25, 2012, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power considered the ‘No More Solyndras Act.’ The legislation, as ultimately approved by the subcommittee, goes far beyond implementing safeguards to improve the DOE Loan Guarantee Program and instead, would eliminate the program. This short-sighted, politically expedient approach to the issue would significantly hinder the development of utility-scale renewable energy projects in America.

The DOE Loan Guarantee Program has spurred the development of 11 utility-scale solar energy projects that support thousands of construction jobs and will produce enough clean energy to power more than 630,000 homes. These projects all have existing contracts with utilities to purchase the power they generate, which provides a guaranteed revenue stream that minimizes financial risk to taxpayers. The program’s structure provides a net positive return to taxpayers and leverages private sector capital to finance vital renewable infrastructure projects.

“America’s solar industry thanks Congressman Bilbray for his long-standing and steadfast support of solar energy and the policies that will help our nation realize the significant economic and energy security benefits associated with the expanded deployment and use of solar energy,” added Resch.

The bill, passed 14-6 by the subcommittee, is expected to move to a full-committee mark-up early as next week, before the August Congressional recess.

The U.S. solar industry employs 100,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across the nation in all 50 states.

About SEIA:
Established in 1974, 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 1,100 member companies 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. http://www.seia.org.

Background Materials:
Facts on the DOE Loan Guarantee Program
Infographic on Loan Guarantee Program

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