SEPAPower Blog :

Q2 surge in utility-scale solar a hopeful sign for the future

Following a slow start to the year, utility-scale solar surged in the second quarter of 2015, and the pipeline continues to grow ahead of the investment tax credit step-down scheduled for 2017, according to research compiled by the Solar Electric Power Association.

Putting Your Finger on the Pulse of Solar at SPI

Hitting the trade show floor at Solar Power International (SPI) is generally an exercise in sensory overload. No matter where you look, you see company names and logos on slickly designed booths in various bright colors, all clamoring for your attention. The big, well-known companies in the solar industry stake out prime real estate in the center of the exhibition hall -- and as you walk the aisles you see panels, racking systems and increasingly, storage batteries displayed, along with videos and pictures of completed projects.

Getting solar on the grid: Geography, policy and the economic value of DERs

Some U.S. utilities are combining new technologies and attempting to develop business models to solve the problems of integrating solar and other distributed energy resources onto the grid. Others are running to catch up. How can we export the lessons learned not only across the country but to emerging economies around the world?

Reporting from SPI: Solar -- An all-American success story

As Solar Power International opens in Anaheim, the main message for this year's event is that solar is an all-American industry, and success story. The industry is also big and mature enough to find new and collaborative solutions to the opportunities and challenges ahead.

SEPA and its members grow 'beyond solar'

Earlier this year, the Board of Directors of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) expanded the mission of the educational nonprofit to go beyond its original focus of utility solar to encompass a full range of distributed energy resources (DERs). Julia Hamm, SEPA’s CEO and President, writes about the opportunities opening up with the organization's new focus.

'Solar Plus' Key to Growth in U.S. Energy Storage Markets

Solar-plus-storage will be a strong presence at Solar Power International, Sept. 14-17 in Anaheim. Bob Gibson, SEPA's Vice President of Knowledge, looks at industry trends and finds that integration -- with energy management and other clean technologies -- is the engine that will help "solar-plus" really accelerate.

Low-income community solar in Colorado: Hand-up, not handout

Colorado co-op Grand Valley Power partners with GRID Alternatives on a new community solar program targeted specifically at helping low-income households cut their energy bills. The state follows suit with a $1.2-million program aimed at putting at least a megawatt of low-income community solar online.

Essential Symbiosis of the Energy Sector's Incumbents and Insurgents

SEPA Chief Strategy Officer Tanuj Deora, reports back on the recent Aspen Institute Clean Energy Forum and why both utility "incumbents" and innovating "insurgents" are essential to move ahead with energy industry transformation. A key challenge for both, he says, will be keeping up with changing definitions of the "public good" that access to electricity provides.

SEPA CEO: Clean Power Plan Underlines Ongoing Utility Solar Innovation

Washington, Aug. 3 -- In response to the release of the final version of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Julia Hamm, President and CEO of the the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), has released an official statement regarding the President's plan.

California’s drive to cut time and cost of getting solar on the grid

For certain large, distributed solar projects, interconnection costs are a matter of chance and timing, ranging from thousands to millions of dollars -- and in some cases scuttling often promising installations. The California Public Utilities Commission has been tackling the thorny problem in a proceeding known as the cost certainty docket. SEPA's Ryan Edge lays out the details.

Will community solar become a least-cost option?

The popularity of community solar continues to grow, despite the fact that in many cases, buying into a project may not provide immediate savings on customers' electric bills. But that is starting to change, with the SolarPerks program in Massachusetts. With solar pricing still on a downward trend, should utilities be planning for community solar as a lower- or least-cost option?

SEPA staff go up on the roof: Solar transformation in East Baltimore

SEPA staff recently donned hard hats and harnesses and clambered up a two-story high ladder to help GRID Alternatives install solar panels on the roofs of two low-income homes in Baltimore. Along with some hands-on experience in the nuts and bolts of solar, the staffers also heard compelling stories about its power to transform lives.

New York's Solar State of Mind: Resilience through community engagement

SEPA's Alexandra Longo recently headed to New York City for the state's ninth annual Solar Summit. She reports that New York is building its solar market -- and a more resilient grid -- through a range of programs that all focus on community engagement and transformation through information.

What market research is telling utilities about consumers and solar, Part 2

More than half of Americans in a recent survey said they are dissatisfied with their utilities -- and solar is one the things they overwhelmingly want their energy providers to offer. Market research expert Suzanne Shelton says that utilities need to pick up the challenge.