With an increasing number of companies spending their big exhibition dollars on Solar Power International, Intersolar’s purpose has shifted slightly for some of the solar industry. We spoke to numerous companies that said they decided not to buy booth space this year, but instead use their time at Intersolar to hold key meetings with other top solar execs.
But we did see some interesting new products from the companies that did choose to exhibit this year.
AP Alternatives showed off its new Geoballast Foundation, a cheaper solution for developers that don’t want to use concrete ballast. The cages can be anchored with quarry rock or even recycled construction waste.
SolarEdge capitalized on the new California solar mandate for new homes by advertising a new plug-and-play inverter-plus-storage product for new homes. The product makes it easy for installers to add storage or EV charging right away or at a later date if homeowners choose to make additions after they move into a solar home.
Solar-Log had perhaps the flashiest new offering. It’s incorporating solar monitoring into an increasingly common household object—Amazon’s Alexa. Solar-Log’s Alexa integration means homeowners or solar O&M workers can check in on the status of their systems by voice.
Along with some cool new products, there was plenty of fun to be had at Intersolar this year. A ping pong tournament pitted battery companies against module, racking against monitoring and more. eGaugeSystems won the championship in the end.
And perhaps the most exciting part of the show this year was Solar Battle of the Bands, held at the iconic Warfield Theater where Jerry Garcia from The Grateful Dead played 125 shows. My favorite act was the Solar Sisters String Band from SEI, but the winning act was SunPower’s DC/AC, whose frontman left it all on the stage that night, jumping around and putting on a true show. I thought the group’s best song was a well-harmonized cover of Eddie Vedder’s “Hard Sun.”
Overall, I enjoyed getting to talk to new companies, learn from sessions about the future of net metering and market trends and kick back at night with good food and music. Looking forward to SPI in a few months!