Intersolar North America today announced that Richard L. Kauffman, New York's chairman of energy and finance, has been named the winner of the 2017 Intersolar Champion of Change Award. This prestigious award is annually presented to entities or individuals who have helped strengthen America's solar energy industry and increased adoption of solar in the United States. Kauffman will receive the award at the opening ceremony of Intersolar and ees North America in San Francisco Monday, 10 July.
Richard L. Kauffman, known as New York first "energy czar," oversees and manages the state's entire energy portfolio. He also spearheaded New York's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, a bold 10-year project launched by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that aims to restructure the energy industry and increase support for local renewable energy.
As part of the REV strategy, Kauffman supported the launch of the $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) to reshape energy innovation programs and drive economic development in New York. Additionally, he has been instrumental in developing NY Green Bank, intended to accelerate clean energy expansion in New York State by investing in clean energy markets. His work also includes overseeing and coordinating policy between the New York State Department of Public Service, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the New York Power Authority and the Long Island Power Authority.
Kauffman's multifaceted efforts to improve renewable energy adoption in New York state set an incredible example for other states to follow. After Superstorm Sandy disrupted people's lives and shut down businesses, New York didn't just rebuild the wires; they began rethinking the whole system. By integrating renewable energy enterprises into financial plans, investments, city planning and more, Kauffman's efforts have enabled the New York economy to sustain the adoption of solar and other renewable energy sources. And by working to augment the renewable energy industry in the financial realm and in energy storage markets, Kauffman is propelling New York state—and the US—forward.
"We are pleased to honor Richard Kauffman by naming him as our Champion of Change for 2017, and commend him for his dedication and leadership to the development of the New York solar industry," said Florian Wessendorf, managing director of Intersolar North America. "His many initiatives in New York embody the key themes of Intersolar North America 2017, and we look forward to hearing about how his work has shaped the New York solar industry at our opening ceremony."
For the last 10 years, Intersolar North America has been committed to addressing the most pressing challenges and recent achievements of the renewable energy industry. In addition to providing in-depth discussions about new solar technologies and market opportunities, this year Intersolar and its co-located ees North America will also highlight emerging smart renewable energy technologies and innovative solar financing tools, two key industry topics driving the growth of solar across the country. The opening ceremony is open to all Intersolar and ees North America attendees, and more information, including speaker announcements, will be announced in the coming weeks.
This year's exhibition and conference will take place 10 to 13 July in the heart of San Francisco, California (US) at the InterContinental Hotel and the Moscone Center.