Solar Summit 2018 What Not To Miss

by Anna Gretz
April 25, 2018

On May 1 and 2, Solar Summit 2018 is coming to the Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego, California, and you’re going to want to be there. Last year, there were over 500 attendees, and over a third of them were VP-Level all-stars in the solar industry. The Conference themes this year are Solar and the Transformation of Electricity, Innovations in Solar and the Grid Edge, and Charting the Course for New Solar Markets. Yes. It’s basically everything worth talking about in the world of solar and renewable energy. Here’s an overview of what events you need to make sure you hit while you’re there.

HEAR: Speakers at the Forefront of the Industry

Lynn Jurich: CEO, Sunrun Lynn Jurich has a dream: that someday, or entire planet will be run by the sun. It’s definitely possible, and Jurich has been working tirelessly toward this goal since day one. Sunrun is currently the largest dedicated residential solar company in the US, and the residential solar market has it to thank for the solar-as-a-service model that has been gaining popularity since its creation. Not only is Jurich Sunrun’s current CEO, but she was also a co-founder, using her drive as a competitive athlete and her passion for creating simple solutions to raise Sunrun up from the ground to the sky. She started at Summit Partners, where she lead as a growth equity investor as one of the only female venture capitalists. Her investments grew to an aggregate market value of over $900 million, but while she was on a summer internship in China, she witnessed firsthand how humans were impacting the environment with their currently consumption of energy. She knew something had to change. She tapped her Stanford Business School classmate, Edward Fenster, and decided that they, together, could form a company that offered homeowners a way to consume energy more efficiently. Sunrun was born, and residential solar was never the same. Lynn’s story is, in a way, the story of the birth of the modern rooftop solar industry, and it’s one worth hearing straight from her.

Abigail Ross Hopper: CEO, SEIA The Solar Energy Industries Association chose the perfect president, because Abigail Ross Hopper is, herself, a powerhouse. The SEIA is the national trade organization in charge of ALL of our country’s solar energy industries, and Abigail is the one personally overseeing research, communications, and any activities involving government affairs. So yeah, she’s a pretty big deal. No stranger to energy policy, Hopper previously directed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the Department of the Interior, as well as the Maryland Energy Administration. She’s been all over the energy sector, lending her legal expertise wherever it has been needed. She was big in making sure the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act passed in 2013, and secured millions of dollars of benefits for Maryland citizens while negotiating energy mergers in the state. The face of Maryland’s energyscape is what it is because of Abigail Ross Hopper. We can’t wait to see and hear how she uses her role at the SEIA to do the same for the rest of the country.

Terry Tamminen: CEO, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation The Guardian recently released a list of “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.” Terry Tamminen was ranked No. 1. Not Leo DiCaprio; Terry Tamminen. Terry has had his hand in every industry that influences the solar and renewable energy world, including business, education, public policy, agriculture, and environmental endeavors. He’s been at the head of so many groundbreaking policies that sent solar skyward, including California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, a landmark forged in 2006, and the Million Solar Roofs initiative (also called California Solar Initiative or CSI), which is well on its way to a goal of 3,000 megawatts of solar energy. After serving under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, and later Cabinet Secretary and Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, Tamminen co-founded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, which was a partnership between the public and private sectors to bring governments, businesses, NGOs, and academia together to create low-carbon climate solutions through projects that could also build and sustain the global economy. In other words, Terry Tamminen is a solar rockstar, and now heads up the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which is publically pursuing ways to quite literally save the planet through pursuing renewable resources like solar. Terry Tamminen is a speaker you definitely shouldn’t miss.

EXPERIENCE: Get In on All the Summit Has to Offer

Don’t Skip Breakfast Greentech Media is an undeniable leader in the solar world of information, and recognizing this means soaking in GTMs briefings whenever you can… even if it’s over breakfast. On Day 2 (May 2) GTM Research will be conducting a “Breakfast Briefing” discussing Trends in Solar Technology and System Prices, as well as The State of Corporate Procurement: Offsite and Distributed Solar. Sound like a mouthful, but if you’re there, you’ll have all the education you need to discuss these important topics later at the Networking Reception...

Live Podcast: Political Climate This is your chance to be present at a LIVE RECORDING of a GTM podcast. GTM is known for presenting clean energy news and politics from a bipartisan perspective, and this time, they’re inviting Terry Tamminen, Brandon Hurlbut of Boundary Stone Partners, and Shane Skelton from S2C Pacific in on the fun. Julie Pyper, the talented Greentech Media Senior Editor will be moderating, making this a podcast recording you don’t want to miss.

Networking Reception You’re at a summit full of people who are helping solar take over the world. There are so, so many people you are going to want to meet, and intelligent conversations you’re going to want to have. On Day 1 (May 1), make sure you stick around for the Networking Reception from 5 - 7 PM, and put some faces to the names you’ve been seeing in all the bylines. Try not to get too starstruck by Ravi Manghani.