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December 7, 2011

For More Information, Contact:
Lisa Gardiner (916) 651-4011 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


SACRAMENTO –  SolarTech, a national renewable energy consortium, will present State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) with its annual “Solar Hero” award on Thursday in San Jose.

As this year’s public sector honoree, Simitian is being recognized for his Senate Bill 2X, which made California a national leader in its commitment to renewable energy. Signed into law earlier this year, SB 2X requires private and public utilities to obtain 33 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu called Simitian’s SB 2X a “groundbreaking piece of legislation that would put California at the forefront of the clean-energy economy.”

“Senator Simitian’s work establishing California’s 33 percent renewable portfolio standard is pioneering, and sets a standard that we hope becomes a model for the rest of the country,” said Doug Payne, executive director of SolarTech. “By presenting him with this award, we want to acknowledge this extraordinary leadership.”

“At a time in our state when big ideas often lose out to small-minded politics, Senator Simitian championed the big idea of a 33 percent renewable portfolio standard,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino. “This step alone is a giant leap for California job creation, renewable energy innovation and leadership for our entire nation.”

Simitian said, “SolarTech’s recognition is particularly gratifying, because SolarTech is an organization that’s working hard to bring renewable energy to the state and the nation.”

As he pursued the passage of SB 2X in the Legislature, Simitian made the case that it would:
• Bring investment dollars, tax revenues, and jobs to California;
• Improve air quality;
• Address climate change;
• Protect consumers from the kind of market manipulation and price spikes that the state experienced in 2001, by diversifying our sources of energy; and
• Allow for an American foreign policy based on American values and American interests, rather than energy needs.

California’s previous renewable portfolio standard – 20 percent by 2010 – had also been established by legislation authored by Simitian.

The Solar Hero Award, now in its third year, is presented annually to individuals who make outstanding contributions to the solar energy field. Last year’s public sector honorees were former Secretary of State George Shultz and Environmentalist/Philanthropist Tom Steyer.

SolarTech, an initiative of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, works to accelerate the growth of solar energy. Danny Kennedy, president of Sungevity, is this year’s Solar Hero honoree from the private sector.

The Third Annual SolarTech Green Tie Holiday Affair and Solar Hero Award Ceremony will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 8 at 3081 Zanker Road, San Jose.

For more information on the SolarTech ceremony, contact (408) 768-0449.

For more information on Simitian’s legislation, visit