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nergy leaders from around the
world descended upon Dallas,
Texas for Solar Power International ‘11,
October 17 - 20. For the first time in its
eight year history, SPI was staged
outside California proving that the
solar industry is vibrant and growing
across the country. A total of 21,000
industry attendees from more than 100
countries were on hand to participate
in the most comprehensive annual solar
event featuring cutting edge conference
programs, discussion groups, general
sessions, continuing education certifi-
cate programs, proprietary business
meetings and acres of innovative
exhibitor manufacturers.
A record 1,200 exhibitors, occupying over
1.1 million gross square feet of space,
demonstrated the latest innovation in solar
technology, making SPI the largest, most
effective and therefore, the most valuable
solar trade event in North America. Solar
Power International travels to Orlando,
Florida in 2012 to continue the growth of U.S.
solar markets.
“SPI 2011 was a tremendous success, and
we are thrilled with the response to our move
to Dallas,” said Julia Hamm, President and
CEO of SEPA. “It affirms that the solar
industry is vibrant outside of California and
reflects the fact that solar development
continues to spread throughout the United
States. Bringing SPI to Texas - the heart of
the oil and gas industry - demonstrates the
growing role of solar energy in the overall
national energy picture.”
“Despite challenging economic times,
solar continues to be one of the fastest
growing industries in America,” said Rhone
Resch, President and CEO of SEIA. “That
dynamic growth was out in full force in
downtown Dallas in SPI’s first year out of
California. The excitement and optimism
about the U.S. solar market could not be
missed for anyone in attendance, whether it
was on the show floor, during the general
sessions, or in one of the many breakout
sessions. I’m looking forward to seeing the
energy in Dallas taken back to all 50 states as
solar continues to work for America.”
Six executives from investor-owned and
municipal utilities engaged in lively
discussion during the Utility Executive
Roundtable. They debated the unique
opportunities and technical, regulatory, and
business challenges that they face in their
efforts to increase the percentage of solar
energy in their portfolios. The speakers
stressed the need for a national energy policy,
putting a price on carbon emissions from
fossil fuels and reducing the cost of solar.
President and Chief Executive Officer, CPS
Energy; Randy Mehrberg, President and
Chief Operating Officer, PSEG Energy
Holdings LLC and Executive Vice President
Strategy and Development, PSEG Services
Corporation; Armando Olivera, President
and Chief Executive Officer, Florida Power
and Light Company; Robert Powers,
President, AEP; James Rogers, Chairman,
President and Chief Executive Officer, Duke
Energy; Larry Weis, General Manager,
Austin Energy. The panel was moderated by
Matt Daily with Reuters.
Other highlights include:
•Rhone Resch discussed how solar energy is
working for America with more than 100,000
Americans employed by over 5,000 companies.
He emphasized the need to extend the Section
1603 Treasury Program to maintain the
industry’s momentum. He said the industry is
on track to meet its 10 gigawatts annually by
2015 goal.
•Julia Hamm took the audience 20 years into
the future with a visionary presentation about
the role of solar energy within an electric utility
in the year 2031. Hamm stressed the
importance of collaboration between the solar
industry and utilities to make her vision for
2031 a reality.
•In quick response to the trade petitions filed
with the U.S. International Trade Commission
and the Department of Commerce by seven
U.S. solar manufacturers, the Solar Energy
Industries Association conducted a briefing for
SPI attendees to explain the filing and the
review process. John Smirnow, V.P. Trade and
Competitiveness with SEIA, and Jeffrey M.
Telep, Partner with King & Spalding,
Washington, D.C., provided a thorough
overview of the timetable and explained what
the case entails.
•NBA Hall of Fame legend, David Robinson
and his former teammate Steve Kerr shared
their experiences as players. Robinson, an
inspiration both on and off the court, stressed
the importance of a strong value system,
dedication and hard work to be successful in
an ever changing world.
•Marcus Buckingham shared his philosophy
on management and leadership. He advised
that to win as a leader, people need to leverage
their strengths and minimize weaknesses. He
theorized that optimizing individual strengths
are the greatest opportunity for growth.
To view the webcasts of the Utility panel,
Resch and Hamm presentations, visit: