After a two-year hiatus, Solar Power International (SPI) – the largest solar trade show in the country – is back, and it’s even bigger and badder than ever. This year, SPI has teamed up with three other industry events: Energy Storage International, RE+ Power (including wind, hydrogen, and fuel cells), and RE+ Infrastructure (electric vehicles and microgrids). Together, they form RE+, a colossal renewable energy industry conference on September 19-22 in Anaheim, California.
Produced by industry associations Solar Energy Industries Alliance (SEIA) and Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), RE+ brings together thousands of energy professionals from all over the world for four days of networking, learning, and stimulating discussions. Sessions cover everything under the sun (pun intended): Evolving technologies like solar, energy storage, and electric cars; emerging technologies like green hydrogen; regulations and policies, and more. This event is so big that the Comedic Keynote and Moderator is writer and comedian Hasan Minhaj!
DG+ is fortunate to work with many outstanding players in the renewable energy industry, several of whom are speaking in one or more RE+ sessions. We are excited to share some of the sessions that we are looking forward to seeing next week.
The solar industry is more competitive than ever and, with the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, it’s likely only going to get more competitive. How can your company stand out from the crowd and maintain growth? This session is going to be really exciting because it will include David Ganske of DG+Design, Meghan Gainer of DSD Renewables, Adam Hinckley of Enphase Energy, as well as others from General Motors, AES, and Sunrun.
Official Description: Solar energy manufacturers and installers are embracing new technologies and services to create growth opportunities and diversify their business offerings. How successful are these strategies for companies that have historically focused on solar? Is diversification a path to growth or a distraction? Panelists will discuss potential pathways to diversification, prudent options for businesses, and how diversification can ultimately be achieved.
Kacie Peters of Pivot Energy will be speaking in an exciting session about community solar policy. Is it possible to move beyond state program limitations for distributed generation development?
Official Description: While community solar policies are successful in adding new capacity and solving on-site solar limitations, implementation of such policies has exacerbated the boom and bust nature of incentives. In some cases, incentives are too generous and create a mad dash to fill allotted capacity (Illinois). In other situations, incentives are not high enough to justify developer effort (California). Is it possible to design a community solar market where we find a Goldilocks approach that accurately values and incentivizes all parties? Panelists will discuss how some markets have fared better than others and work together to create an ideal approach to future program design.
Michael Ryan of Camus Energy is a lecture presenter in this RE+ Tech session that will show how Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is already using machine learning to fill gaps in data to predictably operate the grid. With more distributed generation and smart grid-tied devices, the increasing value of AI for utilities will be interesting to watch.
Official Description: Missing and low-fidelity data presents a barrier to renewable growth when utilities can't forecast or analyze solar production. In a novel project with Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Camus Energy, and PNNL apply proven machine learning techniques to fill gaps in missing solar data, enabling KCEC to reliably operate their grid with 100% daytime solar supply. Participants will understand this novel approach and what other utilities can do to leverage similar tools for improved grid visibility and faster renewable adoption.
It has been quite the ride for DC lobbyists and policymakers over the last few years. Alexander McDonough of Pioneer Public Affairs will be speaking about his experience with the reconciliation process and what the clean energy industry can expect from federal policy.
Official Description: After months navigating a stop-and-start legislative progress, clean energy must forge ahead to push for federal policies that support long-term growth. This panel will provide an update on what is happening in the policymaking process and where the political landscape is headed, with the mid-term elections just around the corner. Experts will address where negotiations stand and how critical clean energy provisions could get across the finish line. During this session, lobbying and advocacy experts will educate the industry on how to navigate politics and public affairs to achieve critical policy wins. Speakers will also highlight how industry stakeholders can get involved to ensure that federal policies work for your company.
Cody Smith of Camus Energy is a speaker in a panel that will discuss how utilities can leverage customer-sited batteries to reduce local demand during peak power periods. After California's recent heat wave that stressed the grid (and leveraged grid-tied devices to reduce peaks and supply power), this topic is more pertinent than ever.
Official Description: The immense growth of battery storage deployments, both in conjunction with renewable generation and standalone, is providing new opportunities for utilities to leverage these resources to reduce system costs. In this session, project leads from Holy Cross Energy and Camus Energy showcase how HCE is utilizing customer-owned batteries and day-ahead transmission system peak demand forecasts to reduce local demand during coincident peaks.
Kacie Peters of Pivot Energy will be featured in a second event during RE+ when she presents her predictions on how the solar industry will look in 2030. Hint: we are going to be a lot more customer-centric than we are today.
Official Description: Solar has evolved greatly from its humble beginnings as an off-grid solution for farms in the 70's though commercialization in the 2010s. But while the last decade has brought innovation in finance and ownership structures, the next decade is poised to drastically expand the very core value proposition of the solar energy company, with many exploring EV charging and storage with an emphasis on putting customers in charge of their energy choices. This trend of consumer empowerment will likely continue with an expanding service market and new structures that promote energy equity, grid reliability, and electrification of everything. This session will cover themes from the residential, community solar, and utility scale perspectives.
Like a kid in a candy store, the DG+ Team is overwhelmed and excited by the sheer number and range of interesting sessions at RE+. Here are a few additional topics that we are looking forward to diving into, along with some relevant sessions:
If it’s not obvious, DG+ is looking forward to attending informative lectures, engaging in energizing (ha!) discussions, and basking in the pure, unabashed energy nerdiness of RE+.
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