Industry visionary David Crane, net metering panels and cutting-edge tech top packed agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nevada -- it's become ground zero for the solar industry, with its intense levels of sunshine; iconic solar projects, such as the Mandalay Bay Convention Center's 8.3-megawatt rooftop installation; and equally intense policy debates over net energy metering and rate reform.
Check out the SEIA-SEPA video on the top 5 reasons to attend SPI here.
Event highlights - and potential story hooks -- include:
• Opening session with industry visionary David Crane: The former CEO of NRG and now Senior Operating Executive at Pegasus Capital Advisors, will share his views on the present status and future of the industry in conversation with Steve Malnight, Senior Vice President at Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Also on the agenda, a second conversation with Nat Kreamer, President and CEO of Spruce, and Jeffrey Ball, scholar-in-residence at Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance.
• Net metering in Nevada and across the nation: Two back-to-back workshops at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sept. 13 will explore the net metering debates in Nevada and New York, and how they fit into larger discussions of rate reform and the role of utilities in a smart, distributed grid.
• Solar plus storage and beyond: More than 600 companies and other exhibitors will be on the tradeshow floor this year, including two storage pavilions, a smart home pavilion -- featuring a net-zero Arc House -- and a working microgrid that will power SPI's outdoor demonstration area.
• The state of the U.S. solar industry: A press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 14, led by SEIA, will provide journalists with an update on the state of the American solar industry including brand new deployment numbers, state rankings and policy updates. Meanwhile, SEPA's Solar Power Player Awards, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, will put the spotlight on some of the most innovative projects and programs utilities and their tech partners have developed to get ever more solar on the grid.
• The international solar market: SPI has become part of the U.S. Commerce Department's International Buyers Program, signifying the importance of the solar industry for international trade. About 500 delegates representing more than 25 countries -- from the Bahamas and Bangladesh to Uzbekistan and Zambia -- will be at the event, looking for new technologies, project partners and investment opportunities.
"For journalists who cover energy issues, SPI is a can't-miss event," said Tom Kimbis, SEIA's interim president. "Our industry is at an inflection point where we are experiencing unprecedented growth and facing new challenges tied to that growth. I think even those familiar with our ascent will be surprised by some of the revelations from Vegas in a few weeks."
"The message this year is that SPI isn't only about solar," said Julia Hamm, SEPA President and CEO. "The industry is now an integral part of the energy sector transformation toward more distributed resources and a distributed grid, and the range of companies and speakers headed for Las Vegas reflect that growth. We've got smart stories about new business models, utility-solar industry partnerships, and solutions that benefit both customers and the grid."
Working media can apply for conference accreditation online here. A press room with interview space will be available at the event.
Celebrating its 42nd anniversary in 2016, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the utility industry's transition to a clean energy future through education, research and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is co-founder and co-sponsor of Solar Power International and winner of the Keystone Policy Center's 2016 Leadership in Energy Award. For more information, visit www.sepapower.org.
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. SPI is powered by SEPA and SEIA, and 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.