For Immediate Release: December 10, 2020

SACRAMENTO –  The California Energy Commission (CEC) today is recognizing six recipients of its inaugural 2020 Clean Energy Hall of Fame awards.

The awards recognize individuals who have made exceptional contributions in their local communities by helping California advance its clean energy goals. The awards aim to motivate and inspire all stakeholders to continue to lead California to a 100 percent clean energy future for all by 2045.

The virtual ceremony begins at 2 p.m. with Governor Gavin Newsom providing recorded opening remarks.

The ceremony is one of two special events highlighting the CEC’s mission of a clean energy future. On Dec. 7, the CEC celebrated its 45th anniversary with  a virtual  event where energy leaders shared milestones and looked ahead to the many efforts shaping California’s clean energy progress.

Graphic showing the six inaugural CEC Hall of Fame winners.

An external stakeholder selection subcommittee selected the Hall of Fame awardees for their exemplary efforts and for going above and beyond the green call of duty.

The six clean energy leaders to be honored are:

 Lifetime Achievement: Dr. James O’Bannon, energy efficiency contributor and founder of the construction management program at California State University, Chico will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual with at least 20 years of documented clean energy accomplishments that have had a significant positive impact on California and environmental justice communities in particular.

 Dr. O’Bannon is a leading international voice in the field of energy efficiency, helping to accelerate California’s clean energy future. He founded the construction management department at Chico State, which has more than 3,000 alumni. He is the board chair for Richard Heath & Associates, Inc.

 Clean Energy Champions: Four Clean Energy Champions are being honored for contributing to California’s clean energy future through their bold moves and innovative ideas, while helping transform communities in California through more equitable outcomes. They are:

  • Rey Leon, mayor of Huron and executive director of the Latino Equity Advocacy & Policy Institute. Leon is the force driving the innovative Green Raiteros electric vehicle ridesharing program, which offers Central Valley residents, mostly farmworkers, accessible transportation to and from critical services and errands, such as doctor and social services appointments.
  • Eddie Price, community and workforce development coordinator for GRID Alternatives. With passion and skill, Price has helped triple the number of households in underserved San Diego communities receiving affordable solar energy -- all while instituting a workforce development curriculum for communities that have been historically overlooked.
  • Pamela Quan, certified electrician and lead installer, Luminalt Energy Corporation. Quan is a former trainee turned solar-plus-battery installation crew leader who motivates others to join her on the clean energy path. 
  • Arla Ramsey, vice chair of Blue Lake Rancheria. As the leading catalyst behind a tribal-owned microgrid in Humboldt County, Ramsey has prepared her community to defend against natural catastrophes and emergencies. She has also contributed significantly to advancing women in leadership roles and clean energy.

Youth Game-Changer Award:  Kaushik Tota is being honored with the Youth Game-Changer Award. The award recognizes an individual, 18 years of age or younger, who is helping to advance California toward a clean energy future and is inspiring a new generation of energy experts, entrepreneurs, and leaders to change the game.

Tota is a senior at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View. He founded the Climate Youth Ambassador Program, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about climate change and equipping individuals with the knowledge to lead sustainable lifestyles. The program has reached more than 3,000 individuals and has grown to include over 30 Climate Youth Ambassadors nationwide.

The award ceremony will be live at 2 p.m. via Zoom: 

Password: HOF


About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. It has seven core responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies.