Solar Power International 2012

This post was originally published in 2012. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

Solar Power International 2012 was a huge success! The SMA America team had a great time in Orlando, Florida, during the week of September 10, visiting with solar’s best and brightest. From the opening sessions and CEO panel discussion, to a rousing SPI Block Party and a fantastic keynote from former President Bill Clinton, this year’s Solar Power International was just the tonic the industry needed to invigorate it moving forward.

Orange County Convention Center – Orlando Florida

SPI 2012 Terawatt Sponsor

SMA America was proud to demonstrate its support for the solar industry and be this year’s Terawatt sponsor, which resulted in our largest show presence at SPI yet. “Solar Power International has always been one of our keystone events. It’s a place where we can gather with customers and colleagues, share best practices, debut our newest innovations, and conduct business that helps grow the industry,” said Jeffrey Philpott, director of marketing at SMA America.

Some of the highlighted products on display in SMA’s 3,600-square-foot booth included the Sunny Boy 240-US micro inverter system, the next generation Sunny Boy TL-US transformerless residential series, and the Sunny Central CP-US and CP XT commercial and utility-scale central inverters.

CEO Panel Discussion

Pierre-Pascal Urbon, SMA CEO and CFO; Marko Werner, SMA Chief Sales Officer; and Henry Dziuba, President and General Manager of SMA America, with Florian Rentsch, Hessen Minister of Economics Transport, Urban and Regional Development

The show began with a thought-provoking CEO panel discussion, “Growth in an Uncertain Market.” Panelists included SMA America’s Jurgen Krehnke, Julie Hamm (SEPA), Tom Boyle (NRG Solar), Rhone Resch (SEIA), Peter Marte (Hannah Solar) Nancy Pfund (DBL Investors), Eric Sigaly (Florida Power and Light), and Tom Werner (SunPower).

The panel discussed future industry growth, green job creation, storage, net metering, and industry regulation. Julie Hamm of SEPA urged that the “solar industry and the utility industry invest in the development of a regulatory structure that allows for a new long-term, sustainable utility business model that encourages customers capable of installing solar to do so and rewards the utilities that innovate and create a platform on which solar is fully leveraged for its strengths and which ensures the costs and benefits are fairly distributed.”

Stilt walkers dressed as the Beatles greeted guests as they arrived

Block Party at Hard Rock Live 

Shortly after day two at the convention center ended, the Block Party at Hard Rock Live began, offering solar professionals a chance to mix and mingle outside the show floor. SMA America created a party within the party in the John Lennon room and on the rooftop terrace. Guests were greeted by stilt walkers dressed as the Beatles and KISS as they entered the party and on the dance floor. The night also included great music, delicious food, and dancing.

Keynote Speaker President Bill Clinton 

SMA’s Jurgen Krehnke meets former President Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton delivered the keynote address to more than 7,200 guests with a message that the government, the private sector and the non-government sector need to work together to solve our energy problem. He also discussed the role that solar will play in the economic recovery of our nation. “You’re going to win this battle,” Clinton told the crowd. “The question is where and when.” Read detailed coverage of Bill Clinton’s speech here.

Solar Power International 2013

Although the 2012 show just ended SMA America is already looking forward to next year’s Solar Power International, which takes place October 21-24, 2013 in Chicago. Hopefully we will see all of you there!

If you have a favorite memory or highlight from Solar Power International tell us about it in the comments section below.

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