June 13, 2011 (Boulder, CO) – The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) presented the first annual Walt Ratterman Award for Creative Community Energy to Wade Andrews of Namaste Solar in Boulder, Colorado on June 13, 2011. Wade, a NABCEP certificant, won for a 2010 domestic PV project on the Cal-Wood Education Center in Colorado.
The annual Walt Ratterman Award for Creative Community Energy was created by NABCEP to recognize and honor Walt Ratterman, one of NABCEP’s first certificants, who was killed while working in Haiti when the devastating earthquake struck in 2010. Walt’s astonishing renewable energy work among some of the worlds most needy was truly inspirational. Walt channeled his efforts into the non-profit company he co-founded, SunEnergy Power International (SunEPI). Since his death the company is no longer an active organization, although the website serves as a resource for past projects and a portal for supporting the Solar Energy International (SEI) Walt Ratterman Scholarship Fund. The company’s mission was “to promote an increased quality of life in remote, rural regions of the world through the use of renewable energy.” In addition to Haiti, Walt participated in humanitarian relief efforts in many diverse developing countries.
“By awarding this inaugural award to a domestic project, we hope it will inspire others to look around their own communities and see where work close to home can make a positive difference to the lives of their less fortunate neighbors,” said Ezra Auerbach, Executive Director of NABCEP.
Wade Andrews is a Namaste Solar co-owner and PV Installation Project Leader who led the crew that installed the system at Cal-Wood. “Namaste Solar is thrilled to be able to contribute to Cal-Wood’s ongoing mission by donating an 8.28 kW solar PV system to their main building,” said Wade. “Walt Ratterman is an inspiration to me and I look forward in the future to doing work further afield in honor of Walt,” he said during the award ceremony.
The system at Cal-Wood will allow both school students and adults who visit the center to learn about solar PV and its benefits. Many of the school students who visit Cal-Wood are from the city of Denver and often have had few if any experiences in the outdoors. Similarly, they may be unaware of renewable energy and its benefits.
The Walt Ratterman Award is presented each year to the NABCEP certificant who does the most creative public service oriented renewable energy project. Installations can be domestic or off shore and they must be performed at no charge for a not-for-profit or charitable organization. Don Warfield, chairperson of NABCEP says, “We hope the award will encourage more people to submit nominations next year for projects both here and abroad.”