Local Businesses, Individuals, Public Officials Honored for Leadership on Clean Energy

November 6, 2013

Fifth annual Making Energy Work conference praises standout contributions to the growth of North Carolina’s clean energy economy

NC Sustainable Energy AssociationRALEIGH, N.C. — The NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) recognized twelve individuals and businesses on Tuesday and Wednesday (November 5 - 6) for their exemplary work toward the advancement of North Carolina’s clean energy economy. NCSEA presented the Clean Energy Awards at the Raleigh Convention Center during its annual Making Energy Work Conference.

Each year, NCSEA honors those who demonstrate outstanding innovation and leadership in growing North Carolina’s renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. This year’s award recipients are: 

Richard Harkrader, 2013 Individual Leadership Award
Richard Harkrader is the CEO of Carolina Solar Energy, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. Under Harkrader's leadership, Carolina Solar Energy has developed over 58 megawatts of solar capacity since 2009, and is responsible for many of North Carolina's 'firsts' in solar power. As one of North Carolina's most influential clean energy visionaries, Harkrader has made over 20 years of pioneering contributions to the design and adoption of the state's energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation, regulation, technology deployment, and market transformation. In 2013, Harkrader played a critical leadership role for NCSEA and the state's clean energy community by helping to defend economically beneficial clean energy policies, helping bring industry together to engage in critical issues before the NC Utilities Commission, and contributing to the launch of the NC Clean Energy Business Alliance, a new 501(c)6 business trade association created by and affiliated with NCSEA.

Michael Shore, 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award
Michael Shore is a co-founder of FLS Energy headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina and has led the company since its inception in 2006. Shore’s work has focused on developing the strategic vision of the company and pursuing private investment. Under Shore’s leadership, FLS completed over 50 Megawatts of renewable energy generation, raised over $100 million in project and corporate financing and was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing companies in 2011 and 2012, ranking 46th in the nation in 2011. Shore's decades of visionary leadership in the public, non-profit and private sectors has indisputably transformed the clean energy landscape of North Carolina and the Southeast. Often in collaboration with NCSEA, Shore's work enabled the creation of a clean energy marketplace in North Carolina. As an innovative entrepreneur, his business model and ethic have inspired business leaders throughout the region. In 2006 and 2007, Shore and NCSEA's Ivan Urlaub co-led the development, negotiation and passage of North Carolina's Senate Bill 3, including the first Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard in the Southeast. As part of this paradigm shift toward 21st century energy, these efforts also authorized Duke Energy to adopt a new energy efficiency business model that has greatly expanded market deployment of energy efficiency solutions and saved its customers millions of dollars. Shore's achievements will yield financial savings and improved quality of life for all North Carolinians for decades to come. 

Butler Farms, 2013 Business Innovation Award
Butler Farms is an environmentally friendly, quality pork and renewable green energy producer in Lillington, North Carolina. Tom Butler has spent most of his life in Hartnett County, NC on the family farm which has been in operation since 1995. Over the years, Butler has become known in the industry as a true environmental steward, innovator, researcher, and recycler. In 2007 Butler began his involvement with renewable green energy. The farm upgraded its waste lagoons to covered lagoons with an anaerobic digester.  The digester provides odor control, a decrease of diesel usage due to decreased pumping of rainwater from the lagoons, emissions reductions, and electricity from biogas that Butler Farms sells to the electricity grid.  As a biogas pioneer in North Carolina, Butler Farms is taking an active role in diversifying North Carolina’s energy portfolio to ensure the state is taking advantage of domestic sources of electricity generation that can create jobs and drive local investment.

PowerSecure International, 2013 Business Leadership Award
PowerSecure International, headquartered in Wake Forest, North Carolina is an energy services company focusing on high-efficiency lighting, solar-panel installations, emergency power generators and utility infrastructure. Each quarter, this company is setting records for revenue and new distributed energy projects. PowerSecure has also established itself as a clean energy leader through its successful acquisition of companies like Lime Energy, Solais, and a portion of Southern Energy Management in recent years. At the end of the second quarter, PowerSecure reported a record 85 percent increase in revenues to $70.2 million.  As of August, PowerSecure’s stock was up 103 percent for the year. The company has also been very active in working with NCSEA to tell the success stories of clean energy to our elected officials and other stakeholders.
City of Raleigh, 2013 Community Leadership Award
The City of Raleigh continues to be a leader in the state and the nation in creating innovative programs and infrastructure to drive clean energy development. One example is the BigBelly Solar smart grid waste system. In an effort to transform the way the City tackles waste in public spaces, the City installed 27 solar-powered, self-contained waste units with a recycling side and a waste-only side that compact air volume of wasted space and send a wireless signal to service specialists when a pickup is required.  These units replaced 59 traditional trash cans and save the city over $51,000 annually.

Cherokee County Schools, Community Initiative Award
Cherokee County Schools has been a leader in Western North Carolina in energy conservation and solar energy development. By the end of the year, four of the county’s schools will have solar arrays establishing a trend for others to follow. In March the county was recognized as the 6th school district in the state to have 100% of its schools Energy Star certified. The cost savings the school district achieves through its clean energy investments frees up money to go toward resources inside the classroom.

NCSEA also recognized several members of the North Carolina General Assembly for providing valuable leadership in advancing clean energy through their efforts during the 2013 legislative session. Legislators receiving awards at the conference included:

  • Senator Tom Apodaca (R-Hendersonville), 2013 Legislator of the Year
  • Rep. Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain), 2013 Legislator of the Year
  • Rep. Edward Hanes (D-Winston Salem), Jr., 2013 Clean Energy Emerging Leader
  • Rep. John Szoka (R-Fayetteville), 2013 Clean Energy Emerging Leader
  • Senator Jeff Tarte (R-Cornelius), 2013 Clean Energy Emerging Leader
  • Rep. Andy Wells (R- Hickory), 2013 Clean Energy Emerging Leader

About the NC Sustainable Energy Association:
Founded in 1978, the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization of individuals, businesses, government and non-profits working to ensure a sustainable future by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in North Carolina through education, public policy and economic development. Learn more at


Lowell Sachs
Director of Communications
NC Sustainable Energy Association
1111 Haynes Street, Suite 109
Raleigh, NC 27604
Office: 919-832-7601 Ext. 117
Cell: 202-669-8226