SPI 2016 - The U.S. Solar Market Continues to Grow, Solar Power International Reaffirms

There is only one place in North America where more than 18,000 attendees, and over 650 exhibitors gather from across the world to bolster the burgeoning solar market. North America’s largest solar conference and exhibition, Solar Power International (SPI), did just that.

ALEXANDRIA, VA., September 29, 2016 - There is only one place in North America where more than 18,000 attendees, and over 650 exhibitors gather from across the world to bolster the burgeoning solar market. North America's largest solar conference and exhibition, Solar Power International (SPI), did just that. The annual event, which is powered by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), grew by 20% from the previous year. In 2015 SPI was ranked as one of the 100 largest trade shows and one of the 25 fastest growing shows in North America, continuing its' legacy as the largest solar trade show in North America. A large contribution to this success is solar's growth into the "smart" market, as well as having the largest gathering of energy storage exhibitors. SPI took place on September 12-15, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


This year's event included something that no other trade show had attempted, a first-of-its-kind live microgrid. The inaugural Smart Energy Microgrid Pavilion was fully powered by the microgrid for the duration of the four-day event. Solar panels generated 100% of the energy in the pavilion, which was stored by exhibitor batteries, and interconnected through the microgrid through a variety of exhibitor products. The pavilion helped paint the full picture of the energy ecosystem, and provided attendees with a glimpse of where solar is headed by connecting "smart" with solar. Attendees were able to tour the Arc House, a net-zero tiny home, and a variety of smart home and building automation products.

"This year's event took a big step forward by showing how a variety of products can work together to enhance energy efficiency." Said Stephen Miner, President and CEO of Solar Energy Trade Shows, organizers of SPI. "Interconnecting solar + storage, and smart energy products throughout SPI painted a bigger picture for attendees. We're excited for the growth of the solar industry and to expand SPI 2017!"

SPI featured two energy storage pavilions on the expo floor. Attendees were able to connect with 115 storage exhibitors, which is the largest gathering of energy storage companies in the United States. The SPI program also highlighted energy storage through its own education track and multiple sessions on the show floor. The sessions were heavily attended and aimed to increase storage knowledge while helping to reduce uncertainty in the storage market.

Over 600 international attendees were recruited via the International Buyer Program (IBP). The IBP is a joint government-industry effort that brings thousands of international buyers to the United States for business-to-business matchmaking each year and results in approximately one billion dollars in new business for U.S. companies. SPI will continue to participate and grow international attendance through the program again for 2017.

There were more than 100 educational opportunities for attendees. This includes three general sessions, where attendees heard from industry visionaries and leading companies that are transforming how we view energy. The program also featured several education tracks, ranging from community solar to policy, utility, grid integration and more. You can view the full schedule here: www.eventscribe.com/2016/SPI.

Next year's SPI will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 10-13, 2017. Mandalay Bay is home to America's largest rooftop solar array, with 26,000 solar panels that produce approximately 25% of the energy for the convention center. You can learn more about SPI at www.solarpowerinternational.com.

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About Solar Power International

Solar Power International (SPI) is the largest solar trade show in North America. SPI focuses on creating an environment that fosters the exchange of ideas, knowledge and expertise for furthering solar energy development in the United States. In 2015 SPI was awarded as the Most Engaging Show Floor and has been a Gold 100 trade show six years in a row by Trade Show Executive Magazine. SPI is ranked #109 in the top 250 largest trade shows by Trade Show News Network.

Solar Power International is powered by SEIA® and SEPA®, whose combined efforts create world-class events. Unlike other solar industry events, all proceeds support the expansion of the U.S. solar energy market through SEIA's® and SEPA's® year-round research and education activities, as well as SEIA's® advocacy efforts. Visit solarpowerinternational.com for more information.

ABOUT SEIA®

Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association for the solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream, viable, and reliable energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. For more information, visit www.seia.org.

About SEPA

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational non-profit that provides a trusted platform for education, research and collaboration to help our members deploy and integrate solar, storage, demand response, and other distributed energy resources into the grid. We are proud to have over 1,000 members, representing the whole spectrum of industry stakeholders. Utilities, ISOs, large energy users, corporate and non-profits look to us to facilitate solutions for today's challenges and to meet tomorrow's electricity needs for the next decade and beyond. For more information, visit www.sepapower.org

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