SEPA Blog Site : SEPAPower

Utilities unacknowledged catalysts of first million solar installs

The solar industry marks its millionth installation, and every single one of those projects was connected to the grid by a utility. SEPA's K Kaufmann looks at the historic patterns of energy transition behind the recent industry milestone.

Changing solar energy landscape gives utilities new stories to tell

Utilities today often find themselves mistakenly labelled "anti-solar" in state-level debates over net energy metering and other rate reforms. A new working group of utility executives is focusing on changing that assumption and improving communications with customers and other industry stakeholders.

SEPA comment on passage of Senate energy bill

Provisions of the energy bill passed by the U.S. Senate could spur new collaboration and partnerships between utilities, the solar industry and other clean technology developers, says SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm.

SEPA comment on NY joint proposal on solar transactions

When utilities and solar industry stakeholders work together, as they have in New York, they can find innovative solutions to sensitive issues, such as developing new frameworks for solar transactions, says SEPA CEO and President Julia Hamm.

SEPA's 2015 Utility Solar Top 10: Utilities make solar smart

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has announced the U.S. utilities that put the most megawatts and most watts per customer of new solar on the grid in 2015. Southern California Edison was No. 1 on the annual megawatts list, while the Village of Minster in Ohio took the No. 1 spot on the watts per customer list.

Utility Solar Conference Maps Speed of Change in Energy Sector

When SEPA communications manager K Kaufmann arrived at her first Utility Solar Conference in 2014, she recalls, some utilities saw solar as a threat. Looking at the USC agenda for 2016, she says, many now see it as an opportunity.

The Return of the Renewable Energy Certificate Zombie

With a new wave of consumer electricity programs and technologies, such as community solar, battery storage, and evolving utility rate agreements, REC ownership has once again risen as an issue.

The story behind the numbers: Utility Solar Top 10 Preview

SEPA's 9th annual Utility Solar Survey will provide a concise picture of solar market trends and a few surprises according to Ryan Edge, the research analyst leading this year’s effort. Here, Edge looks behind the numbers to the different state markets and incentives that are driving the increasingly diverse solar sector across the country.

Key questions on SEPA's name change

Answers to key questions regarding SEPA's name change reveal and what a new name means for the organization.

The real net metering story: Not precedents, but many solutions

Stories on recent changes to net metering policies in Hawaii, California and Nevada have all turned on the same question: Will this approach become a precedent? SEPA's K Kaufmann says we should be focusing instead on the diversity of potential solutions now surfacing.

Oh Canada! NB Power turns renewable energy into firm power

New Brunswick Power has a new approach for integrating variable renewable energy onto the grid -- controlling the electricity load to turn intermittent wind into firm power. SEPA's Bob Gibson reports back from the recent DistribuTECH conference in Florida.

ITC impact: Q4 shift toward sustained growth in utility-scale solar

2015 saw an unexpected dip in the utility-scale solar market, with new completed projects down from the previous year by more than a gigawatt. But the ITC extension and a healthy project pipeline should lay a foundation for sustained growth in utility-scale going forward.

Beyond technology: Why the energy transition needs social science

The energy transition currently underway in this country and around the world involves two different, but interrelated forces -- technological change and social change. Guest blogger Jennie C. Stephens, a professor at the University of Vermont, argues that more attention needs to be paid to the social side of the equation.

SEPA 2016 research offerings reflect expanded mission

The expansion of SEPA's mission, adding demand response and other distributed energy resources to its core focus on solar, means the organization will be offering a range of new research in 2016. Erika Myers, SEPA's Senior Manager for Research, previews reports and other research offerings to be released in the next few months.