SEPA Becomes the Smart Electric Power Alliance

Why the name change?

Solar is one of the fastest growing energy sources in the United States. At SEPA, we realize growth by itself is not enough. The positive impact of solar is magnified when combined with complementary technologies like energy storage and demand response, when it is a building block of microgrids and helps power electric vehicles. And all these technologies must work together for a more dynamic and responsive electricity grid

Okay, but why "Smart"?

Great question. Smart has a variety of connotations, especially in the electricity industry. Up until now, smart has been used primarily to describe technology. But technology is only one piece of a larger picture. These technologies must be deployed in ‘smart’ ways, and as part of an overall plan that accounts for:

  • An evaluation of benefits
  • Consumer preferences
  • Detailed analyses of system level benefits
  • Integration with grid management
  • Regulatory oversight
  • Utility business strategy.

SEPA believes that in addition to technology, "Smart" needs to address:

  1. Proactive Customer Engagement - Designing utility and third party programs that resonate with a critical mass of consumers.
  2. Enhanced Planning - Considering system health and benefit through the planning and operation processes, ensuring grid operability and regularly measuring performance.
  3. Strategic Decision Making - Analyzing the business impacts to ensure the utility’s long term economic sustainability.

All that sounds great, but what about solar?

Solar is in SEPA’s DNA. We are proud of our history and will continue to help utilities make smart solar decisions. In fact, this expanded scope directly addresses the challenges around solar integration on the grid and will help solar continue to thrive for decades to come.

What can I expect from SEPA going forward?

The next few months, SEPA will launch a new website, an expanded research agenda, host the National Town Meeting for Demand Response and Smart Grid and continue to provide the community, data and insights you expect from us. If your organization is a member, contact us today to receive your benefits. If you are interested in becoming a SEPA member, contact our membership team and we will be happy to walk you through all the great benefits we provide.