BORDENTOWN, N.J., Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA) announced the awarding of the inaugural Chapin, Fuller, Pearson Medal to two recipients in New Jersey. The medal is awarded to an individual "who has made extraordinary contributions to the development and advancement of solar power in the Mid-Atlantic Region and the nation." It is named after Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson, the three scientists who invented the first practical solar cell at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ in 1954.
MSEIA awards the medal this year to Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (Legislative District 17, New Jersey) and to Senator Bob Smith (also representing District 17).
Assemblyman Chivukula has authored and sponsored many key solar bills in New Jersey. Notable among them is A3520, a law that, among other measures, established a very ambitious year-by-year schedule of requirements for the development of solar power within the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, or RPS.
Senator Smith, through his sponsorship of many solar bills in the New Jersey Senate, has driven several vital advancements in the development of solar power in the state, including S1925, signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in July of this year. The law accelerated the solar RPS and contained several measures to guide the development of solar power.
"The innovation and determination shown by these two legislators have been instrumental in making New Jersey the leading state in the nation in the development of solar power," said Dennis Wilson, President of MSEIA. "New Jersey is the first state to generate over 1% of its annual electric power coming from solar power, and the peak power contribution of solar is several times higher. New Jersey is beginning to rival California in the size of its solar market, and has created over 10,000 high-quality jobs in system design, installation, roofing, electrical contracting and financial and legal services. Recognition is growing regarding solar power being a major contributor to the future mix of electric generation, and the preferred non-polluting source of electricity, as well as a very large creator of jobs. These intrepid legislators had the foresight to forge a nation-leading role for New Jersey."
The Pearson, Fuller, Chapin Medals will be awarded at a dinner and ceremony on November 15th at the Imperia Hotel in Somerset, NJ, at the conclusion of a one-day conference jointly sponsored by MSEIA, the New York Solar Energy Society, and Joint Forces for Solar, an initiative of EuPD Research and Intersolar.
The conference will feature expert speakers discussing the policy and industry challenges facing five northeastern states, technical and project financing issues, and energy related topics.
One such special topic concerns an exhibit entitled, "New Jersey – Birthplace of Solar Power" being developed by MSEIA. According to Lyle Rawlings, Vice-President, New Jersey of MSEIA, "Most people are amazed when they hear how much of this burgeoning worldwide solar industry is based on developments that happened in New Jersey. Nearly all of the major achievements that brought this technology to life from 1940 through the early '70's were accomplished here in Bell Labs. But it shouldn't be a surprise; the most prestigious laboratories in the world were located in New Jersey during that time."
Another planned activity will review a major study commissioned by MSEIA regarding the quantification of the monetary value of solar power in New Jersey. The results of the study will be presented and discussed.
MSEIA, the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, is a solar energy advocacy trade association which represents over 100 solar companies doing business in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Established in 1997 by solar energy advocates, MSEIA is an historic and highly-effective non-profit membership organization created to advocate for solar energy incentives, create permanent solar energy jobs and a renewable energy infrastructure, and promote solar energy as a viable and important source of energy for the future. Our efforts in the legislature and with the Board of Public Utilities have been instrumental in helping to create the New Jersey solar industry.
Dennis Wilson, President of MSEIA
Lyle Rawlings, Vice President of MSEIA
Marianne Leone, Admin for MSEIA
SOURCE Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association