The Solar Energy Industries Association Wednesday cited Senator Reid's "tireless leadership to combat climate change, steer our economy towards a clean energy future and put solar energy to work for all Americans" as part of the reasoning behind giving Reid the award.
“Coming from a state where the sun shines more than 300 days a year, solar power is a no brainer," said Reid, who said he accepted the award on behalf of the people of the state of Nevada. "I believe this renewable resource is the key to creating jobs and making Nevada energy independent, and I look forward to our continued work toward that goal.”
In June, Senator Reid joined Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to announce “fast-track” initiatives that will bring federal agencies together with leaders in Western states to designate U.S. public lands in the West as key areas for utility-scale solar development, fund environmental studies, open new solar permitting offices and speed reviews of industry proposals.
“The solar industry has emerged as a job creation engine in Nevada and across the country due in large part to Senator Reid’s leadership,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “He played a major role including key solar provisions in the economic stimulus bill and Nevada is on the leading edge of the clean energy economy.”
SEIA also pointed out that Reid isn't just a solar policy proponent on paper, he also puts his money where his mouth is. And in this case, he put his money into a 6.7 kW solar array on his own property in Nevada. "Besides supporting policy that will help expand the U.S. market and that of Nevada, he invested with his own checkbook," wrote SEIA director of communications Monique Hanis in an email on Thursday afternoon.
In February, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar was also recognized by SEIA as the other National Solar Energy Champion of 2009.
Image via Pink Dispatcher at flickr