Daily Recap - Solar Power International 2017
Keeping up with everything that's happening at Solar Power International is not easy. This daily recap hopes to make it easier.
Wednesday, Sep 13 2017
Tuesday, September 12th
What a day in Las Vegas! Before the last General Session on the latest developments in solar + storage applications, SEIA released a brand new video highlighting the vast number of jobs in the solar industry, including 38,000 manufacturing jobs. This came after announcing a record last quarter for solar in Texas, which added more than 380 megawatts of new solar generating capacity in Q2 2017.
The education yesterday was comprehensive and immense in quantity and quality. SEIA staff led education sessions on the Section 201 trade case, Washington policy updates, consumer protection, diversity and inclusion in solar, etc.
Abigail Ross Hopper led an interactive talk at the Industry Trends booth on the show floor covering the latest in the trade case process, how companies can be involved, and answering a number of questions from concerned solar industry stakeholders. Shortly after her talk, SEIA Diversity and Inclusion Committee leaders Antuan Scott and Heather Whitpan joined Sunrun's Jessica Booker and NAACP representative Jacqui Patterson to discuss best practices for building a more diverse solar industry.
A highlight of the day was the sold out annual Women in Solar Luncheon where attendees gathered to hear from some of the most powerful women solar leaders, including SEIA and SEPA heads Abigail Ross Hopper and Julia Hamm. Panelists shared their unique stories about their solar path and what trends are impacting their careers in the industry.
Wednesday marks the final day of SPI, so be sure to check out the show floor before it closes at 2 p.m. and SEIA's Grid Modernization and Codes & Standards Workshops!
Monday, September 11th
Day two of Solar Power International 2017 was action-packed, beginning with the release of SEIA and GTM Research's Q3 2017 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report. The report showed that the solar industry added 2,387 megawatts of new generating capacity in Q2 of 2017, an 8 percent growth year-over-year, and the largest second quarter on record for the solar industry.
Following the successful release highlighting an even more successful quarter for solar, SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper lead the day's General Session with an overview of the ongoing Section 201 trade case. Her opening presentation covered how the case is already impacting markets and how a bad outcome will significantly cut solar procurement and kill more than 88,000 American jobs.
She followed her presentation by moderating a panel discussion with industry executives from Sunrun, Swinerton Renewable Energy and RBI Solar. Ed Fenster (Sunrun), George Hershman (Swinerton) and Bill Vietas (RBI Solar) talked with Abigail about the case and all of its implications. They stressed that new solar tariffs would cause potentially hundreds of jobs to be lost in their companies alone, and that price uncertainty is stalling projects in the pipeline as we speak.
The trade case was a strong theme throughout day two of the conference, dominating quick talks, panel discussions and networking conversations throughout the exhibit hall. But trade was not the only theme of the day. As education sessions began and the trade show floor opened, attendees had the opportunity to absorb the latest on rate design, net metering, Nevada solar, energy storage, consumer protection, SEIA's new digital tools, including our new website, and all this was just the tip of the iceberg. Seven education locations ran concurrent sessions all day long, as the 20,000 SPI attendees traversed the vast Mandalay Bay Convention Center to soak it all in.
As jam-packed as Monday was, Tuesday may contain even more! Be sure to take in as much as you can, and check back here on Wednesday morning for a recap of it all.
Sunday, September 10th
As nearly 20,000 solar pros descended upon Las Vegas, Nevada for the start of Solar Power International, SEIA launched a brand new website as part of the introduction of a full suite of new digital tools designed to educate and serve the solar industry as it continues to grow. The new SEIA.org features a fresh layout with new key features that include an interactive map and a new collaborative, business-to-business platform for SEIA members, The Sphere.
To kick off the education part of the conference, SEIA staff led a sold out workshop covering opportunities to open the commercial and industrial solar market, along with a Solar 101 session for newcomers to the industry.
These activities all culminated with the opening General Session, where SEIA and SEPA heads Abigail Ross Hopper and Julia Hamm talked about the critically important work the two organizations are doing to support and grow the solar industry. The two industry leaders covered everything from the ongoing Section 201 trade case, state policy battles, grid modernization, new technologies and much more.
Esteemed Harvard professor Rory McDonald followed with an interesting and timely talk on how companies can compete and innovate to disrupt the incumbent business environment.
Day two of the conference features the opening of the MASSIVE trade show floor and a fleet of compelling education sessions. Enjoy the conference and check back tomorrow for a recap of the day!