The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) announced the three winners of the 2012 Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Awards at PV America West in San Jose, Calif. Recognizing major achievements in U.S. PV solar energy, the awards were presented to Arizona Western College Solar Installation, Yuma, Ariz.; Clean Energy Collective Community-Owned Solar Farm, Holy Cross Energy, Garfield County Airport, Rifle, Colo.; and the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ-9) Complex at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, Calif.

More than 84 submissions were evaluated by an independent panel of judges representing associations, consultants, distributors, government, integrators, manufacturers, and utilities. To qualify for the awards, all projects had to be operational and demonstrate a collective benefit to the community and innovative use of policy and financing to enhance the project's impact.

"There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the solar industry,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. "The recipients of these awards exemplify the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that drives growth in the U.S. market. From community-based solar to schools and military facilities, these remarkable projects show that solar is working and Americans have more options than ever before to go solar. We are very pleased to present these awards and congratulate our three winners for their achievements and excellence in PV solar energy."

"It is very important that we continue to acknowledge new innovation in PV and the successful completion of solar projects now and in the future," said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of SEPA. "Our three winners demonstrate the viability and versatility of PV installations as well as the benefits they bring to their local communities. The Arizona Western College Solar Installation not only offsets 100% of the campus' daytime electricity needs but brings together five different solar technologies. At the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ-9) Complex, PV models were creatively mounted in usable areas, creating dual-purpose structures. Through the Clean Energy Collective and Holy Cross Energy partnership, the Clean Energy Collective Community-Owned Solar Farm makes PV solar energy accessible to everyone on the grid by giving citizens the opportunity to own individual panels."

For more information on the winning projects, visit www.pvamericaexpo.com.