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Most of the policy decisions that impact our right to go solar are made at the state and local level. But this does not mean that the federal government can’t play a role as well. A new, bi-partisan coalition of members of Congress has joined together to fight for policies that support solar by forming the Congressional Solar Caucus.

The Solar Caucus’ co-founders are Illinois Democrat Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and South Carolina Republican Ralph Norman. Krisnamoorthi is the only member of Congress with a professional background in solar energy. He served as president of a solar technology research firm. He was also a co-founder of the research institute, InSPIRE. The organization provides solar training to inner-city students and veterans.

Krishnamoorthi and Norman hope to use the new caucus to maintain a robust R&D budget in the Department of Energy, harmonize regulations that might otherwise keep solar from expanding further, and ensure America’s workforce is prepared for the solar jobs of the future.

“Solar energy is an economically viable energy source,” Norman said. “It’s also a rapidly growing energy sector, providing thousands of new jobs in states like my home in South Carolina. Solar power is an industry with bipartisan support, and the membership of the Congressional Solar Caucus reflects that.”

Norman indicated that the caucus was supportive of both large-scale and rooftop solar. “More and more we are seeing consumers choose rooftop solar as a great, green way to cut down on their energy bill,” Norman said. “Additionally, large-scale utilities are investing as well, which are providing excellent job opportunities for my constituents in rural areas.”

“Nothing changes in Washington, D.C. without heightened engagement across the country, and this is the way it should be,” Krishnamoorthi said. “In order to convince legislators that they should focus on the benefits of renewable energy, we need to work with groups like Solar United Neighbors.”

To date, the caucus has brought members together with solar technology and policy experts. This has helped caucus members learn about the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. “The caucus intends to continue to hold these briefings, as well as develop bipartisan policy solutions to solve problems facing the industry,” Norman said.

Currently, the Solar Caucus has 14 members, with seven Democrats and seven Republicans. In addition to Reps. Norman and Krishnamoorthi, they include Republicans Rod Blum (IA-01); Jeff Duncan (SC-03); Carlos Curbelo (FL 26); Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08); John Curtis (UT-3); Mia Love (UT-4), and Democrats Debbie Dingell (MI-12); Matt Cartwright (PA-17); Brendan Boyle (PA-13); Paul Tonko (NY-20); Jacky Rosen (NV-03); Peter Welch (VT). Norman and Krishnamoorthi are eager to grow the caucus.

via Solar United Neighbors

Blackbaud Inc. celebrates 115.13 kilowatt roof top solar array on new HQ

Daniel Island, SC, June 18, 2018 – Alder Energy Systems LLC, a trusted South Carolina turnkey solar provider, is pleased to announce the completion of a solar installation at Blackbaud’s new 172,000 square foot world headquarters. The installation utilizes 397 solar panels which produce over 154,503 kWH annually of clean renewable energy.

“Working with Blackbaud to provide clean, renewable solar energy on their new world Headquarters has been a great partnership for Alder Energy Systems. Our own energy net-zero office is fewer than three miles away from their new building. We are very proud to help Blackbaud demonstrate its environmental leadership in our own backyard,” says Vice President Craig Knowlton.

Blackbaud, the world’s 24th largest software company, has operated in Berkeley County, South Carolina since 2000. It is the largest publicly traded software company headquartered in the state. The company was also recently named to the Fortune 56 Companies Changing the World list. Its Eco-friendly world headquarters provides a dynamic and collaborative workplace for nearly half of its rapidly growing workforce, which operates in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

“As a company that embraces sustainability as a priority, Blackbaud not only wanted to build out a collaborative workspace but one that uses resources efficiently,” said Jon Olson, Blackbaud’s senior vice president and general counsel.

As Blackbaud begins to fully use the new space, the company plans to explore applications and other tools that can enhance the employee experience through its intelligent office environment. Examples from similar office installations have included technology like occupancy sensors that improve the use of meeting rooms and smartphone apps that allow employees to adjust room temperatures.

About Alder Energy Systems LLC

Founded in 2008, Alder Energy Systems LLC is a locally-owned business specializing in the planning, design, and installation of solar PV energy systems for homes, businesses, and utilities throughout South Carolina.

About Blackbaud Inc.

Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grant making, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.