Photon’s Solar Electric Utility Conference to Highlights Opportunities, Challenges of North America’s Solar Boom

As every day brings news about further utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) projects being announced, built or opened in the United States and Canada, Photon’s 5th Solar Electric Utility Conference in San Francisco, California, on February 17, features North America’s leading experts from the solar industry, regulators, utilities and investors to discuss the impact and challenges of that unprecedented solar growth.

With over 1 GW of large-scale solar projects under construction and another 30 GW actively under development, the North American continent’s power sector appears poised for a radical remaking, says Garrett Hering, chairman of the conference, organized by Photon, one of the world’s largest solar publishers.

Included among the major solar market companies presenting at the conference are:

– First Solar, a thin-film PV panel maker and supplier of the world’s largest operational PV power plant in Ontario, Canada, and the world’s largest plant under construction in Arizona.

– SunPower, a high-efficiency PV module producer and power plant provider, which recently issued the world’s first publicly rated bond to finance Europe’s largest solar project in Italy.

– Pacific Gas & Electric Company which has more PV installed in its northern and central California service territory than any other utility in North America, and which has among the most large-scale solar under contract.

– CPS Energy, the public utility for San Antonio, Texas, which is one of the largest municipal buyers of solar power in the U.S., and which recently began purchases from the biggest solar project in Texas.

– Quanta Services, a specialty contractor to the U.S. power industry, which is testing the limits of how low PV project pricing can go.

– Chadbourne & Park, a project finance law firm, which will discuss the latest trends in solar project financing.

– The California Public Utility Commission, the state’s energy regulator and overseer of the most aggressive solar programs in the U.S., such as the recently launched Renewable Auction Mechanism.

– The California Independent System Operator, operator of the transmission system with the most solar power in North America, which is at the forefront of integrating renewable resources into the grid.

– Power Advisory, a consultant on solar project development, involved in creating the successful feed-in tariff in Ontario, Canada, which has become North America’s second-largest PV market after California.

– Rubenius, a Dubai-based developer of the largest energy storage project in the world – a planned 1 GW project in Mexico – using unique sodium sulphur (NaS) battery technology.

The 5th Solar Electric Utility Conference is part of Photon’s Solar Terawatt-hours Conference Series, which takes place each year both in Europe and the United States. The event is organized by Photon to provide a catalyst for in-depth discussions, analysis and action as solar technologies increase in scale and impact on global power generation. This year’s three-day U.S. conference takes place on February 15-17, at the University of California, San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center.