Intersolar North America Releases 2014 Conference Program

Intersolar North America, the most attended industry exhibition and conference in North America for solar professionals to exchange information and develop business opportunities, revealed its full conference agenda, developed with CALSEIA and other industry partners. The conference will offer three tracks—Photovoltaics, Energy Storage and Solar Heating and Cooling—and feature more than 200 speakers who will address the market policies and technology trends driving the growth of the North American solar market.

Intersolar-LogoNew this year is an expanded focus on project financing, a sector which has recently undergone tremendous innovation. Building on the success of power purchase agreements for utility-scale solar projects and third-party ownership for distributed systems, new financing models that expand access to PV systems are sustaining North American solar market growth.

In tackling the issue of financing, the U.S. solar market has borrowed from a wide range of industries. Yieldco, an ownership structure borrowed from conventional energy industries where assets are pooled into an investment vehicle that pays dividends to shareholders, has emerged as an attractive option to fund utility-scale solar installations. Securitization, pioneered in the mortgage industry, pools various types of debts to sell as securities to investors, and is especially attractive for financing residential and small commercial PV installations. Additionally, crowd-funding, revamped power purchase agreements and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are being explored as improved funding structures for PV projects.

Together, Intersolar and its conference partners developed several key conference sessions on financing:

PV Financing, Tuesday, July 8: This panel will focus on current financial models, such as solar leasing, crowd funding, bonds, debt/equity and power purchase agreements, and discuss how legislation will impact financing.
Breakthroughs in Financing: California’s Latest Efforts to Bring Solar Home (organized in partnership with CALSEIA), Tuesday, July 8: The panel will cover PACE funding, on-bill financing, leases and loans, and bond initiatives.
PV Power Plants, Tuesday, July 8: Presentations in this session will offer insights in the most promising global markets for large-scale PV plants and financial business models. Presentations will discuss the financial viability of projects in light of anticipated FIT reductions or amended support policies.
Growth Stage Forum / Cleantech / Crosscut, Wednesday, July 9: Attendees will hear from companies with new technologies and business models that Intersolar conference organizers believe will experience rapid growth and create new opportunities for companies across the value chain.
Quality/Bankability, Wednesday, July 9: Panelists will discuss the regulatory, commercial and technical dimensions that create a bankable project. The technical portion will cover components, O&M and EPC, and presenters will share their assessment of quality in today’s business environment.
Solar Asset Symposium IV (organized in partnership with SunSpec Alliance), Monday, July 7: This session will host conversations from key players driving trends, tools and standards around the solar asset life cycle. The panel will consider the impact of new solar funding vehicles, and features industry experts, financiers, leading originators, underwriters and representatives from standards bodies.

Additionally, “Global PV Markets: North America” and “The Future of PV,” two of the conference’s most popular and well attended panels, will also discuss issues related to financing and market development. These panels will look at the main drivers for market growth, as well as the changing incentive landscape. Other sessions will cover market, policy and technology trends, including emerging business models, and will provide additional insight into bringing more solar installations online. These key conference sessions include:

21st Century Permitting: Today’s Effort to Modernize Permitting and Slash Soft Costs, Wednesday, July 9: This panel discusses the latest efforts to streamline the permitting process in California and reduce the time between system sale, completion and interconnection.
Green and Solar Cities Mayor Panel, Wednesday, July 9: Four mayors from California cities are confirmed to speak and share their insight into the promotion and deployment of solar within their respective cities.

The Intersolar North America conference will run from July 7 to 9 in San Francisco, and is located in the InterContinental Hotel, 888 Howard Street. This year’s event is co-located with the American Solar Energy Society‘s (ASES) 43rd annual conference, Solar 2014, and full conference attendees will have access to both events. More information, including information on pricing, and the complete schedule and speaker list, is available online.

— Solar Builder magazine


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