SEPA is committed to work with and help educate utilities and solar stakeholders on the most pressing issues affecting the growth and utilization of solar energy. Through educational activities, working groups, peer-to-peer opportunities and advisory services, SEPA seeks to engage interested parties to facilitate necessary information exchange and knowledge transfer to provide the highest amount of value for our membership and partner organizations.

Areas of focus include Utility Solar Business Models, Policy Activities, and Technology Innovations:

Utility Solar Business Models that are new and innovative are necessary so that utilities are able to effectively respond to the rapid growth of the solar market. The business models being explored — such as utility rooftop ownership and utility provided financing — aim to encourage a key utility role in the long term development of solar energy as well as meet the utility’s immediate business needs. The Community Solar business model, in particular, is increasingly popular and offers an alternative to the traditional method of locating solar on a customer’s property, thus expanding the pool of customers who can benefit from solar development.  SEPA recently released a Community Solar Design Guide. Members-only and public versions are available

Policy remains an important force that drives the evolution and maturation of the solar industry.  In addition to market, economic, and technology factors, policy activity at the federal and state levels continues to impact the growth of solar energy as part of the U.S. energy market.  SEPA’s recently released paper on Net Metering Terms and Concepts seeks to provide a common understanding of the underlying terms and concepts being used as part of the debate in order to give readers the necessary grounding to “talk from the same page.”  Read more.

Technology is the cornerstone of solar industry imagination and innovation. Through ongoing investments being made, promising improvements move from laboratories to manufacturing facilities to demonstration projects to commercialization, and have lowered costs and increased efficiencies.  SEPA is studying Energy Storage and how its technologies and methods, as well as the intelligence controls to optimize deployment, are critical to managing high levels of solar penetration on the distribution and transmission grid.