Of course, I knew to whom the handle @Intersolar belonged. Laura works for the PR firm that helps market the Intersolar 2012 show in San Francisco. So when I saw she was the one who shot me doing a video with SolarEdge, I was more impressed with her social media coverage than creeped out. Besides, she said it was better her than two big bears. But I found Hyundai’s furry representatives quite charming.
Laura and her team worked to put together a press breakfast with industry representatives to discuss energy storage issues. These must be addressed to effectively incorporate renewable energy as a reliable source on the grid. I was also glad to catch a glimpse of Markus Elsässer, CEO of Solar Production International, which helps organize Intersolar North America. Laura connected us for a pre-show podcast we did at the end of June.
On my way to speak with Siemens, I was glad to see the show had more traffic than any renewable event I’ve been to this year. In such a changing, growing market, 22,000 attendees walking the show floor was evidence of the interest in and support for solar. I am sure so many attendees made for great conversation, which is essential to the success of U.S. solar. During my chat with Siemens, I learned the company was fostering conversation in its own way. Its Solar Exchange events bring together the academic, technology, investment, manufacturing and policy communities to create a dialog in the solar industry.
One thing that sparked my curiosity at the show was the various methods of incorporating microinverters and optimizers into solar systems. While SolarEdge incorporates a power optimizer into the panel, SolarBridge believes in AC-module microinverters. Still, Enecsys microinverters plug into more than one module. I am interested in further exploring these different technologies (Maybe a future story here? Stay tuned folks).
Also, thanks to GCube and Assurant for inviting me to a press briefing. The companies have partnered to offer bundled property and liability coverage, as well as a project warranty management program for U.S.-based commercial solar projects. Fluor Corporation was also nice enough to record a podcast with us, so stay tuned for that, as well as some editorial with PanelClaw on installing their solar mounting systems.
But after a day of hard work, us solar people like to have fun, too. Quick Mount PV and Session Solar’s Battle of the Bands was an awesome idea. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing marketing VPs on bass and company CEOs on lead vocals letting their hair down and their musical talents shine. All of the bands were great, but I especially enjoyed SMA’s rendition of Love Shack. The Voltaics could totally make it as a B52′s cover band. Zep Solar’s Zep, The Band took me back to my high school days at ska concerts. They got funky from the music to the lead singer’s terry cloth outfit, and even his socks that simply read “BACON.” And SolarCity’s The SoulMetrics blew me away with the lead singer’s pipes that carried the violin and brass section during covers of Janis Joplin and Queen. Who knew solar could be such fun?