Solar Builder

SEP-OCT 2017

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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8 S E P T E M B E R / O C TO B E R 2 0 1 7 S ometimes I wish I could cover the oil industry. I wish this because I assume I just show up to the opening session where a guy on stage says "So, I'm thinking this year we just do the same stuff we've always done?" and everyone in the crowd agrees and then we all play high-stakes games of chance for gold doubloons until the conference ends. Instead, in July, I attended yet another Intersolar North America conference where enthusiastic and hopeful people were once again looking for new and better solutions. Sad! For example, CALSEIA executive director Bernadette Del Chiaro kicked things off with a histo- ry lesson on how far her state has come since the pas- sage of the California Solar Initiative in 2008. At that time, the state had 130 MW of solar capacity — total. That's a thimble-full of California's solar capacity today. "Our peak would have been significantly higher and earlier in the day — a huge amount of electricity that would have been filled in by power plants," Del Chiaro says. This wasn't exactly a newsflash, but it served to illustrate the potential that exists in passing California's energy storage bill (SB 700), which is CALSEIA's top priority. Coincidentally, California's storage capacity right now sits at that familiar 130 MW level. "Storage is designed and perfectly suited to help mellow out those different growth curves, give con- sumers more control over rising energy bills and help us integrate more renewables onto the grid. It's a mar- riage made in heaven," she says. So, what's holding this marriage up? Del Chiaro points to the parties that are for and against SB 700. The political clout and campaign dollars, as always, are in favor of utilities and established energy indus- tries. Those gold doubloons add up fast. POLITICAL CLOUT Progress is being made across the country though. Last Intersolar, we were lamenting the death of DON'T WAIT — INTEGRATE SCENE ON THE FOR SOLAR TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP, MORE INNOVATION, COLLABORATION IS NEEDED By Chris Crowell CALSEIA executive director Bernadette Del Chiaro.

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