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Solar Power International: Innovation and collaboration at its core

The cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70% since 2010, which has helped make the industry more ubiquitous throughout the world. The United States is no exception. Nearly 260,000 Americans work in solar, more than double the number employees compared to 2012 – at more than 9,000 companies in every U.S. state. This has lead the industry to expand into new markets and deploy thousands of systems nationwide. With nearly 1.4 million solar installations in the U.S., there are projections that the market will hit 2 million installations by 2018, and 4 million by 2022. This has helped the success of North America’s largest solar & energy storage trade show, Solar Power International (SPI) and Energy Storage International (ESI).

This September, over 18,000 energy professionals and 650 exhibitors from more than 110 countries will make Las Vegas their home for three days to experience the largest and fastest growing solar trade show in North America. SPI is the only solar or storage trade show that was honored as a Gold 100 show, an award that recognizes the top-100 largest trade shows and an honor SPI has received for the past eight years. As one of the fastest 50 growing trade shows, SPI has ventured into new markets that help connect all things solar – from storage, IoT and beyond.

SPI is powered by leading industry groups, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). All proceeds from SPI go right back to the non-profits in order to help strengthen and grow the United States solar economy.

There’s only one solar trade show that gives you the opportunity to collaborate with the entire U.S. solar industry, discover innovations on the show floor from over 600 exhibitors, and create strategies to propel your business state-side.

Innovation at its core: What to expect at SPI

The future of the solar industry depends on its ability to integrate with new technologies to complement its strengths. With over 650 exhibiting companies expected, you’ll be surrounded by new technologies and ideas, including smart renewable energy and energy storage that drive your business forward. SPI is co-locating with two events, along with an expanded Smart Energy Microgrid Marketplace.

  • Energy Storage International (ESI), Co-located with Solar Power International
    Energy storage is a game-changer for the solar industry. By capturing power and releasing it on-demand where it is needed on the grid, both utilities and others can take advantage of increased revenue. In 2015, 221 MW of energy storage was installed in the U.S. and that number is estimated to reach 1.7 GW by 2020. Energy Storage International is the largest energy storage event in North America – attendees join to understand the importance of the integration between storage and solar. In addition to drawing some of the biggest players in energy storage, ESI also features an education pavilion on the show floor dedicated to new technology, trends, and analysis of energy storage. Education sessions include (with more to be added soon):

  • HYDROGEN + FUEL CELLS NORTH AMERICA, Co-located with Solar Power International

The organizers of Europe’s largest hydrogen, fuels cells and battery exhibition, HANNOVER MESSE presents Hydrogen + Fuel Cells North America. Exhibitors and leading industry experts will feature a comprehensive forum program, including company presentations and discussions. The connection between the hydrogen technology and solar industry will be explained daily by using an education exhibit.

  • Smart Energy Microgrid Marketplace, Presented by Solar Power International
    The 2017 Smart Energy Microgrid Marketplace will feature a fully-functioning microgrid, energy management systems, automation products, electric vehicle charging stations, energy storage providers, and solar panel manufacturers—ultimately making the connection between solar power and smart products. This year, the Smart Energy Microgrid Marketplace will be right on the show floor at Mandalay Bay and includes an education theater, which will be surrounded by smart energy-focused exhibitors. Education sessions include (with more to be added soon):

    • Using Data to Analyze System Operation and Failure
    • Solar Plus: Opportunities for New Technologies in the Residential Market
    • Orange Button
    • Using Solar to Provide Essential Grid Reliability Services
    • Customer platform of the future
    • Transactive Energy, Blockchains and Distributed Energy Resources
  • The Technical Symposium, Presented by Solar Power International

The Technical Symposium is a brand-new program at SPI, which will offer professionals from the academic, R&D, technical and scientific disciplines in photovoltaics, energy storage and ‘smart’ energy the opportunity to submit abstracts for peer review, presentation and discussion, and publication at the largest gathering of the solar community in North America. As solar, storage, and smart energy continue to mature, we must incorporate the knowledge, experience, and expertise of the best and brightest minds advancing our profession. The three-day technical symposium is built on the tenants of a traditional scientific program.

Collaboration at its core

With over 24 hours of dedicated networking, you’ll have multiple opportunities to make new contacts in the U.S. solar market.

  • Welcome Networking Event
    Start the conference off right. Join us on Sunday evening for the first networking opportunity you’ll have with your colleagues in Las Vegas. Tickets for this are included with Full Conference registration and are available for $100 to other attendees.
  • Block Party

The biggest solar bash of the year is going surf up! Join industry colleagues for an  exclusive networking party at the Mandalay Bay Beach. Hawaiian shirts, Bermuda shorts, and sandals are encouraged for this unique event. The Good Vibrations Band will set the mood for this year’s Blue Hawaii-themed Block Party. In addition to the band, food, beer and wine is provided throughout the venue. Are you going to join the solar industry’s biggest party? Tickets for the event are included with Full Conference registration and are available for $150 to other attendees.

  • Run With the Sun 5K
    SPI welcomes all conference attendees to lace up their running shoes and hit the Las Vegas roads! This event kicks off in the morning of Monday, September 11. Registration is $45 through September 9.
  • SPI Golf Tournament
    Returning from the inaugural year, SPI Golf Tournament will be located at Angel Park Golf Club. Plan to arrive in Las Vegas and enjoy a friendly game of golf with your industry colleagues before SPI gets underway. Individuals and teams are encouraged to register! Tickets are $135 per person and sell out fast.
  • Young Professionals Reception
    New to solar? We are hosting a special reception for young professionals in the industry to network and grab a drink with their colleagues that are new to the industry.
  • Professional Women in Solar Luncheon
    This annual event sells out every year! Hear from some of the most powerful women in solaras they give their executive insight on the latest trends that are impacting the industry, how they have adapted to these changes, and their forecast of the industry’ future. Panelists will also discuss how these trends are impacting careers in the industry and share their unique journeys. Add-on cost to SPI registration, $50 USD.
  • Expo Hall Happy Hour
    Network with SPI attendees and exhibitors over cocktails during the happy hour located throughout the exhibit hall.
  • Poster Reception
    Discuss research with fellow SPI attendees as you meet one-on-one with industry leaders during the lively Poster Reception.

Industry Leading Education

Whether you’re an installer, manufacturer, financier or utility, our conference program offers education for you navigate the U.S. solar market.

  • General Sessions
    This year, SPI will feature three General Sessions with big picture ideas from leading industry executives.

    • Sunday, September 10 – Welcome & Opening Session – Competing and Innovating in a Disruptive Environment:

The solar industry is rapidly changing. Hear from one of Harvard Business School’s top professors on how to adapt and grow your business in a disrupted environment. Learn about tactics to develop viable strategies and how to obtain resources that improve your business’ chances for success. The keynote session will be led by Rory McDonald, Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit, Harvard Business School.

  • Monday, September 11: A general session will be held at 9:00 am on this day. More details to come as speakers are confirmed.
  • Tuesday, September 12 – The Intersection of Solar and Energy Storage:

The installed capacity growth of solar has increased steadily over the last several years. With that growth comes a new challenge facing the industry – how to store the energy produced by solar at a higher capacity. In this session, you will hear from experts who have analyzed the challenge and are working towards developing strong technological partnerships and collaborating to find the best solution. David Bywater, CEO, Vivint Solar is a confirmed speaker for this general session.

  • Concurrent Sessions
    Delve into issues you face in your daily operations and discover best practices you can implement when you return to work. Tracks include:

    • Commercial & Industrial
    • Finance
    • Policy
    • Residential
    • Utility/Central Scale
  • Exhibit Hall Education

In addition to the concurrent sessions, there are also multiple stages on the show floor, including: Installer Training, Industry Trends, Innovation Theater, Smart Energy Stage, Storage Central, and the Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Stage.

  • Focused Pathways

    With the largest solar & storage events in North America, it’s hard to navigate through a sea of 18,000 attendees. SPI is bringing back the “Pathways” program. The event pathways allow attendees to find the exhibitors, education sessions, and networking events that matter to them. The pathway segments include:

    • Commercial & Industrial
    • EPC Project Developer
    • First Time Attendees
    • Installer
    • Operations & Maintenance
    • Smart Energy & Microgrid
    • Utility

Meet with the entire U.S. solar supply chain

SPI attracts over 650 exhibitors from around the globe who will showcase their newest trends, products, and solutions from all aspects of the industry. You can meet with companies from the entire solar supply chain, including:

  • Architecture firms
  • Community solar
  • Commercial solar
  • Energy storage
  • Engineering
  • EPC Contractors
  • Investors
  • Financiers
  • Manufacturers
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Real estate developers
  • Software
  • Solar hot water distributors, installers and contractors
  • And utilities

Visit SolarPowerInternational.com to view all exhibiting companies.


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