FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2021
Contact: Susan Munroe (CICE), 419-203-1566
Laurie Barnhart (CCE), 919-539-5821
RALEIGH — Several businesses, chambers of commerce, state legislators, and US Sen. Thom Tillis received statewide recognition for their outstanding leadership in advancing clean energy opportunities in North Carolina during the 7th annual “North Carolina Clean Energy Champions” awards event on Tuesday afternoon. The online event was co-hosted by Conservatives for Clean Energy-NC (CCE) and Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE). Click here to view a recording of the entire event.
In addition to the 10 awards that were announced, the event also included a roundtable entitled, “NC Crystal Ball: What’s on the horizon for clean energy opportunities?”, which included Susan Munroe, Deputy Director of Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, moderating a discussion with top business, clean energy and legislative experts who shared their expertise and predictions for 2022, including: implementation of our state’s new energy law (House Bill 951), potential renewable energy programs for customers, and workforce training opportunities. The discussion included NC Rep. John Szoka, Chairman of the House Energy & Public Utilities Committee (R-Cumberland); Meg Villarreal, Manager of Policy and Public Affairs for Nestlé; and, Peter Ledford, General Counsel and Director of Policy with North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.
CICE also premiered a new video that features business, economic development and educational leaders from across North Carolina and US Congressman David Rouzer discussing opportunities associated with offshore wind energy projects, manufacturing supply chain jobs, and ports infrastructure. Click here to watch.
“It was great to hear each of our award winners’ success stories and their efforts leading the way toward a more prosperous and accessible, clean energy future,” said Laurie Barnhart, State Director of Conservatives for Clean Energy – North Carolina. “Business leaders, legislators, economic developers, and North Carolinians of all political parties – especially conservatives – are making tremendous progress in advancing clean energy technologies and greater market competition for our great State.”
“Chambers of commerce across North Carolina, as the voices of local businesses, are working every day to strengthen their local economies and they’re excited to support the positive economic benefits that clean energy development opportunities can bring,” said Susan Munroe, Deputy Director of Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy. “Their message is clear: They support and want more clean energy investment in their communities – and North Carolina legislators are listening.”
The following awards were announced during the event:
- NC Clean Energy Champion – Biogen, which has major operations in the Research Triangle Park, for its “Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives” initiative, 100% renewable energy goal, transitioning their fleet to electric vehicles, and encouraging their suppliers and their employees to become fossil fuel free. During 2021, Biogen’s staff also actively engaged with members of the NC General Assembly in advocating for legislation that will give electricity customers greater access to cleaner, more affordable energy sources. Click here to learn more.
- Clean Energy Champion – Nestlé, which has a goal of powering all of its operations with 100% renewable energy, purchased the old MillerCoors brewery in Eden (Rockingham County) in 2020 and is revitalizing and transforming it into an innovative, technologically advanced Nestlé Purina pet food manufacturing facility. During 2021, Biogen’s staff also actively engaged with members of the NC General Assembly in advocating for legislation that will give electricity customers greater access to cleaner, more affordable energy sources. Click here to learn more.
- Clean Energy Champion – Trophy Brewing, located in Raleigh, has incorporated solar panels, a green roof, and numerous energy efficient technologies into its brewery design. Click here to learn more.
- Clean Energy Champion – Wilmington Chamber of Commerce for its support of renewable energy projects and investments, including its staffers’ participation in several offshore wind energy educational events.
- Clean Energy Champion – Clayton Chamber of Commerce for its support of renewable energy projects and investments in Johnston County, including its President & CEO Dana Wooten’s participation in a solar energy educational video. NC Rep. Larry Strickland (R-Johnston) helped present this award. Wooten was also recently named the “2021 North Carolina Chamber Executive of the Year” by the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
- Outstanding Public Service Award – NC Rep. John Szoka (R-Cumberland) received the first ever Outstanding Public Service award as recognition for his outstanding leadership and achievements in expanding clean energy opportunities and market competition in North Carolina during his eight years in the NC House of Representatives.
- Legislative Clean Energy Leadership Award – NC Representative Harry Warren (R-Rowan) was recognized for his efforts to advance several important clean energy and transportation bills during the 2021 legislative session. Specifically, due to his sponsorship of House Bill 842, Clarify Deed Restrictions/Solar Collectors, which is better known as the Homeowners Association/solar access bill, and two bills related to electric vehicles, House Bill 296, EV Charging Station/Parking; and House Bill 466, Electric Vehicle Special Registration Plate, which is now part of a larger specialty license plate bill, HB435. All 3 of these bills successfully passed the House earlier this year, and are now awaiting action by the Senate.
- Legislative Clean Energy Leadership Award – NC Senator Todd Johnson (R-Union) was recognized for his sponsorship of Senate Bill 358, also known as C-PACE, which is a much-needed financing tool to advance resiliency and increase efficiency while reducing utility bills for commercial building owners.
- Legislative Clean Energy Rising Star Award – NC Senator Michael Lazzara (R-Onslow, Jones) was recognized for his interest in clean energy opportunities during his first term, including sponsoring Senate Bill 358, also known as C-PACE and sharing stories about his own electric vehicle.
- Clean Energy Leadership Award – US Senator Thom Tillis was recognized for his ongoing strong support for advancing clean energy opportunities and his key role in developing and negotiating the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed the US Congress and was recently signed into law by President Biden.# # #
More Information on the co-hosts:
Conservatives for Clean Energy educates the public about the benefits of clean and renewable energy sources in North Carolina, and has expanded its work into Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The organization helps to lead the conversation about the economic benefits of clean energy. As conservatives, the organization encourages competition and free markets, which allows for vibrant, sustainable economies. Clean and renewable energy sources represent America’s energy future.
Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy is a national clean information hub and network for chambers of commerce. Created and led by chamber executives, CICE assists chambers and their member companies navigate and prosper in the clean energy space. As the voice of business, chambers across the country are sharing the positive stories of economic impact of clean energy investment not only in their local communities, but at the state and national levels as well.