Clean Energy Legislative Academy

Thank you to the state legislators and staff who attended our Clean Energy Legislative Academies this year. All resources for the Academy, including state policy briefs, can be found at the links below.

CELA 2020 Resources
September 2020 Pre-CELA Webinars

The Clean Energy Legislative Academy is for state legislators working to make a difference on energy policy in their state.

At the Clean Energy Legislative Academy, legislators will:

  • Learn about energy policy related to trending issues across the nation as well as state specific strategies.

  • Identify clean energy policy gaps in their states

  • Discuss policy ideas with energy experts and experienced policy advisors

  • Develop state specific clean energy strategies and policies

  • Utilize various energy policy tools relevant to attendees and their state

  • Enjoy Colorado's scenery while getting to know other legislators from across the nation

Countdown to
The 2021 Clean Energy Legislative Academy

About the Clean Energy Legislative Academy:

The Clean Energy Legislative Academy (CELA) brings together a bi-partisan cohort of state legislators and their energy staffers to learn about emerging energy issues and resources they’ll need to develop effective clean energy policy in their states. As of December 2019, 75 state legislators from 33 states have attended the Academy.

Each summer since 2017, CNEE has convened a bipartisan group of 25-30 state legislators for a four-day conference in Breckenridge, Colorado. At the Academy, legislators learn from a team of expert policy ‘faculty’ in a variety of issue areas, they share their stories with one another, and discuss their plans for making their states more competitive in the clean energy marketplace. Last year, 27 democratic and republican state legislators from across the nation convened to discuss energy storage, grid modernization, renewable energy, and electric transportation. Previous breakout sessions have focused on energy storage, grid modernization, electric transportation, new utility business models, mainstreaming renewables, and clean energy financing. To build on the success of the legislator session, CNEE convenes respective legislative staff members and returning legislators for a deep dive workshop at the end of the summer. Alongside expert faculty, attendees participate in an in-depth workshop which explores more detailed policy solutions to the key issue areas identified by legislators in the prior session.

View photos and additional attendee testimonials below.

What legislators say about the Academy:

“I really enjoyed the Academy. A big plus was bringing different views to the table to solve and address energy issues. I believe this should be the way a lot of issues are addressed instead of everyone going to their own political corners. Staff and speakers were very well informed and Governor Ritter set the tone on the opening night. Energy is something both parties can agree on and should work on together.”

Delegate Terry Kilgore (R) Virginia, July 2018

This is one of the best conferences that I have attended. Well organized, great education pieces, time for questions, interaction with staff and colleagues, and time to unwind and network. My biggest take away from the conference was how we change the narrative and find ways to work together on clean energy policy. This is not a partisan issue and we should be able to work across party lines and with special interest groups to be successful in bringing about change. I would recommend this conference to anyone.”

Senator Dan Quick (NP) Nebraska, August 2019

“After eight years as a legislator this is the first major clean energy conference that I have attended. I have learned so much and connected on such a deep level in terms of policy insights, best practices, evidence based perspectives, data, and relationships. So, I'm really pleased to participate. I learned a great deal about best practices relative to some of the big systems issues facing energy, some of the big structural challenges, and some of the big challenges that other states are facing. When I look at my state, I come away with a number of specific ideas and suggestions for legislation. Not only in the 2018 legislative session but in the next couple of years.  I really encourage folks to take advantage of this fabulous opportunity.”

Senator Reuven Carlyle (D) Washington, July 2017

"Grounding good ideas in sound policy is always a laudable goal. The Clean Energy Legislative Academy does just that. It helps hone good instincts in forward seeking policy to a sharp edge. I’m leaving here with greater knowledge, a clearer path for succeeding in my clean energy goals, and the confidence that I will have access to the resources to accomplish those goals."

Senator Tom Begich (D) Alaska, July 2018

"Nebraska holds great potential that is currently at the cusp of success. By attending this Academy, I was able to take my vast knowledge of clean energy policy and apply it to our non-profit, customer-owned electric utilities state. I am leaving this Academy with what will be stronger legislation that will allow us to embrace clean energy development and deployment. I have a working document that will be the foundation for forward-thinking sustainable policy even after I leave office. What more could I ask for?"

Senator Carol Blood (NP) Nebraska, July 2018

"I was pleased to be a part of the first Clean Energy Legislative Academy, and I want to commend Governor Ritter and all of his staff for putting together such an outstanding conference. The Center did an extraordinary job bringing a variety of people with expertise in many areas of energy, which is a very important issue for all of us across our nation. This was a very useful, productive, and informative event where we got a chance to meet, share, and discuss with colleagues across the county what is taking place in different states and to listen to experts in various areas of energy policy. Hats off for an outstanding job, and I know it's only going to get better but it's going to be hard to do, because you did a great job."

Senator Joe Griffo (R) New York, July 2017

“This was an incredible couple of days. Governor Ritter and his team should be commended for this. In Arizona, we've been having a fight for years about the future of our utilities and solar energy and everything that goes with it. We have explored ideas at the Legislative Academy that give me hope that we can have serious conversations about what to do with the market disruption that is coming. That is an inevitable feature of our future. I will go back to my state and I will work on continuing the dialogue. And I look forward to the next conference where I can meet more thoughtful leaders in this field. I'm very excited about what's coming next.”

Representative Ken Clark (D) Arizona, July 2017

          "The Legislative Academy provided me the opportunity to share ideas with a Bi-Partisan group of legislators from across the country. The subject matter experts presented valuable information on grid modernization, energy storage, and other issues critical to anyone who uses electricity."

Representative Tony Dale (R) Texas, July 2018

"This is the best conference I’ve attended in my seven years in the legislature. The attendees had brilliant insights and inspiring stories, and the presentations and faculty provided actionable ideas and information to legislators. It has been motivating to be with legislators from other states and hear their experiences. What has been most helpful is the opportunity to brainstorm and discuss lessons learned and best practices with legislators and experts across the country. The layout of the conference is exceptional – there is enough time to explore and network while also learning more than in a typical conference. Experts are available all week long for diving deeper into topic matters. Simply put, this conference is exactly what I needed to be re-energized as I continue to work on clean energy legislation."

Representative Katrina Shankland (D) Wisconsin, August + September 2019