With a mixture of sadness and gratitude, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance board of directors announced the resignation of its founding executive director, Jason Edens.

Under Edens' leadership, RREAL has grown from a small, grassroots organization to a national thought leader on low-income solar and energy equity and among the most respected solar design-build firms in the Midwest.

Since its inception in 2000, RREAL has installed more than 1,000 pioneering solar energy installations in 11 states and multiple countries. Although Edens started RREAL in his garage years ago, the organization is now demonstrating and delivering a national model of low-income energy assistance that is fiscally responsible and environmentally appropriate - solar assistance.

Edens also started REAL Solar Inc, a general and electrical contractor Minnesota corporation that delivers solar energy solutions to the residential and commercial sectors. REAL Solar is a social enterprise fostering financial resilience for its parent nonprofit owner.

"I'm very grateful to have been a part of the incredible work that our team has accomplished. It has been an honor to work with some of the smartest and most dedicated clean energy professionals in the country. I've done what I can do for RREAL, and it is time to pass the baton to someone who can take the organization to the next level," Edens said when sharing the news with the rest of the RREAL crew.

The RREAL board of directors will invite candidates to fill the executive directorship position. Davis Leino-Mills, chair of the RREAL board, said this will be a great opportunity for a person to lead a growing, innovative and impactful organization with a solid foundation and a national and international footprint. Edens has developed an organization that has catalyzed a national conversation about how solar energy can empower low-income communities while delivering solar solutions to those communities with its applied advocacy model.