Sterling Clifford is Government Affairs Manager for Sunnova Energy, one of the largest residential solar providers in the Country. Sterling is responsible for regulatory and legislative policy in multiple states in all regions of the U.S.
Prior to joining Sunnova, Sterling spent 17 years working in politics and policy advocacy. He has directed communications strategy for dozens of candidates at all levels of government, including the governors of California and Washington. Sterling has also run ballot and legislative advocacy campaigns on a wide variety of issues for non-profits and corporate clients in nearly every state.
Jim began working for SunPower Corporation as a full-time employee in January 2021, just prior to his official retirement from the Marine Corps in February 2021. He began a policy career in 2016 through a congressional fellowship, where he spent one year on Capitol Hill as a defense expert in the office of Senator David Perdue from Georgia. Shortly after the end of his fellowship, Jim shifted his experience toward advocacy for the Marine Corps with a focus on issues related to Marine Corps Aviation.
Upon joining SunPower, Jim had primarily focused on the California, Oregon, Washington State, and Hawaii markets, dealing with distributed energy resource issues ranging from net metering, resource adequacy, integrated resource planning, and microgrid development. In mid-2021, he shifted his focus to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast region of the U.S., where he continues his advocacy efforts to defend net metering, continue the implementation of battery storage through incentive structures, and the adoption of supportive codes and permitting language for residential solar and storage. Jim currently serves as Vice-President of the Executive Committee for the Chesapeake Solar and Storage Association (CHESSA), the chair of the Southeast region for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA-Southeast), and on the board for the Florida chapter of SEIA (FlaSEIA).