March 11, 2022
U.S. Economic Development Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Suite 71014
Washington, DC 20230
RE: Coal Communities – Build Back Better Regional Challenge
Dear Economic Development Administration Representative,
We submit this letter jointly on behalf of Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA), Solar United Neighbors (SUN), and Vote Solar in support of the Hopi Tribe’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant application.
The solar industry is an essential part of the U.S. and Arizona’s economy. As of Q3 2021, over 113.5 GW of solar has been installed nationwide, representing over 230,000 Americans working in the solar industry. To date, Arizona has 5.2 GW of installed solar capacity representing nearly $14 billion in total solar investment in the state. In addition, the solar industry provides 7,346 jobs within the state, ranking 5th in solar jobs throughout the country.
Our organizations believe in Hopi’s vision to rebuild their economy. We have witnessed the impact of coal plant closures in Arizona and have had the opportunity to meet with tribal members and organizations. We also understand Hopi’s EDA grant application and believe in their vision to rewrite their energy story. It is our understanding that the Hopi Tribe is working to develop and construct a large-scale solar facility to transition the Hopi Tribe beyond the closure of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and Kayenta Mine. In addition, we understand that the Tribe will pursue local clean energy infrastructure projects to improve reliability on the reservation, as well as a workforce development program that leverages the construction projects to train Tribal Members for clean energy jobs.
Our organizations are committed to supporting Hopi through our networks and members. Our networks include solar contractors, installers, manufacturers, distributors, consultants, engineers and designers, residential and commercial system owners, developers, universities, solar supporting businesses, nonprofits, and members of the public. We strongly encourage the EDA to award phase 2 funding to Hopi Utilities Corporation to support the Tribe to deliver these exciting infrastructure and economic development projects through the Build Back Better program.
AriSEIA’s mission is to develop and support policies that create opportunities to advance Arizona’s economy through solar energy and storage. AriSEIA is Arizona’s largest trade association for the solar industry and is part of the national Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). We advocate for sustainable job creation in deployment of solar and complementary technologies and collaborate with stakeholders to encourage utilization of Arizona’s greatest natural resource, the sun. SUN is a national nonprofit composed of a community of people building a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. It helps people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights. SUN envisions a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket. Vote Solar’s mission is to make solar a mainstream energy resource across the U.S. Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to lower solar costs and expand solar access. Vote Solar advocates for state policies and programs needed to repower the electric grid with clean energy. It works to remove regulatory barriers and implement key policies needed to bring solar to scale.
Autumn T. Johnson
Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA)
Western Region Director
Solar United Neighbors (SUN)
Interior West Regional Director
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