Montpelier, VT – At a reception in the over-flowing Cedar Creek Room of the Vermont State House, Renewable Energy Vermont presented Leigh Seddon with the 2019 Jim Grundy Award for generosity of spirit and integrity in bringing renewable energy to his community.
In accepting his award, Leigh reflected on lessons he had learned from Jim Grundy himself. “Jim taught me about always being customer-focused, having the passion to do new things and having the patience to get through tough times. It is one customer at a time and one day at a time that we actually change the world,” he said.
Leslie Cadwell, Chair of the Board of Renewable Energy Vermont commented, “Vermont is so lucky to have Leigh Seddon’s decades of experience and leadership in advancing renewable energy. Leigh and Jim Grundy were friends and colleagues, so it is particularly fitting to acknowledge Leigh’s contributions to renewables in Vermont by awarding him the 2019 Jim Grundy award.”
Leigh’s peers in the clean energy trades nominated him for the award because of his integrity and the tremendous impact he has had on the state over forty years in the renewable energy sector. Remarking upon his early commitment to renewable energy, Washington County Senator Anne Cummings noted that “Leigh was fighting the battle for renewable energy before the rest of us knew there was a war.”
Over his career, Leigh has served as a consultant to finance entities like VEDA, electric utilities, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Bank. He is also the author of numerous articles on renewable energy and energy efficiency, including the Sandia Laboratory manual, “Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Systems.” Much of Leigh’s current work focuses on the development of community-scale renewable energy systems and business models that enable community engagement, creation and retention of local capital, and support the development of a sustainable energy infrastructure.
Leigh Seddon founded Solar Works, Inc., which later became Alteris Renewables. Over the last 30 years, Leigh and the companies have designed and installed thousands of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems in the U.S. and in developing countries. Leigh is currently the Principal of L.W. Seddon, LLC, a renewable energy consultancy located in Montpelier, VT. Leigh’s work also includes detailed analysis of pathways for Vermont to meet its climate and energy commitments and service as Chair of the Board of the Energy Action Network.
Reflecting on his career, Leigh observed that Vermont “had pioneering energy laws. You would think we had won the battle, but we are just at the beginning of the most important push we will ever make which is to make our economy a renewable economy. It is a real honor to be part of this effort and I’m glad to be starting my 5th decade in renewable energy.”
Jim Grundy, a renewable designer, businessman, beloved husband, and community member, was known for his integrity of spirit, kindness of soul, and ingenuity and craftsmanship in renewable energy technologies. Jim believed strongly in the importance of maintaining high-quality design and installation of all renewable systems, to ensure the long-term, sustainable development of the local renewable energy industry. After Jim’s passing, the Jim Grundy Award was established by REV and is given annually to a Vermonter who exhibits these qualities, beyond all others.
Previous Jim Grundy award recipients include: Ben Gordesky of DC Energy Innovations (2018), Dan Kinney of Catamount Solar (2017) and Nik Ponzio of Building Energy Systems.