SEPA Boosts Solar Electric Power Build-out with New Resources
Utilities face unique business and policy pressures to adopt clean, renewable energy from solar power. SEPA’s new site lets them explore options, find resources and think strategically about how their utility peers across the country are moving forward. A combination of state solar requirements and utility and state incentive programs have sparked new growth in the solar industry over the past few years, as demonstrated by SEPA’s 2008 Top Ten Utility Solar Integration Rankings Report. The new website resources help utilities, solar companies and other stakeholders work together to implement more successful solar programs and projects in the future.
Utilities have become a key driver in the rapidly growing solar industry and a growing customer for companies that manufacture and market solar cells or modules, inverters and related components. In the face of uncertain federal renewable energy and climate policy, many electric utilities see solar power as a way to mitigate their risks and improve their environmental standing. However, it can be a challenge to adopt new solar technology within existing business models, regulations and grid requirements.
The site aims to help utilities make prudent strategic business decisions about solar power by providing ‘intelligent navigation’ of industry reports, events, online tools and market data that can be filtered by technology, application and employee type. Highlights include the Solar Toolkit, a one-stop window into the site’s technical content. The site also offers data and maps on the largest solar projects, as well as streaming online webinars from past SEPA events. SEPA’s utility solar power experts designed the site to assist utilities in every stage of the process, from fielding the first customer interest in solar power, to expanding solar adoption in the service area, through smart grid rollouts and new solar power procurement.
“As electric utilities continue to pursue new ways to meet their customers' needs, trustworthy information means the world,” said David Rubin, Director of Service Analysis at PG&E. “We know that SEPA understands our perspective and offers credible information on solar electricity, solar technology and the solar market.”
The comprehensive SEPA solution offers a solar mapping tool, a resource library, videos and a database that lists current utility and government needs for solar energy. The resource library includes over 300 reports, case studies, white papers, and presentations. There are dozens of downloadable seminar recordings and presentations by industry experts.
Any site visitor can view a dynamic map of all utility-driven solar projects in the United States, from roof-top incentive programs to large-scale solar power plants. The map details each program and project, demonstrating how far the electric utility industry has come in adopting solar power. With the mapping tools, interested citizens can track the industry’s growth and see the impact of state and federal renewable energy policies.
“There is a flood of information for all of the players in the solar market,” said Mike Taylor, director of research and education of the Solar Electric Power Association. “The site is designed to let you filter for the information that is most relevant to your job, your challenge and your goals.”