SETO at Solar Power International 2019

It’s that time again! The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) activities at Solar Power International (SPI) 2019 are listed below. SETO staff will be at the conference, representing the office’s projects on the show floor, in workshops, and on panels. Bookmark this page so you’ll know where to find us!

One event you won’t want to miss is the American-Made Solar Prize demo day on Tuesday, September 24 2019. In the morning, competitors will demonstrate their prototypes in the final phase of the competition to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. That evening, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R Simmons, will announce up to two winners and present them with $500,000 in cash.

Mr. Simmons will have a brief media availability following his remarks and media interested in attending SPI should register here. To schedule an interview or ask questions, contact

Where to Find SETO at SPI


Solar District Cup Warmup Workshop
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Location: 254C
The Solar District Cup is a new, multidisciplinary collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and model distributed solar energy systems for multiple buildings on a local electrical distribution network. Students in engineering, urban planning, finance, and business will gather at this workshop to learn more about the competition and start reimagining how energy is generated, managed, and used in their district.

The Multiuse Solar Data Ecosystem: Reduce, Recycle, Reconnect
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Location: 250A
Data is the glue holding the solar industry together, but the data ecosystem needs to become more efficient, less redundant, and unified. We can achieve these goals through collaboration among private and public organizations. This workshop will highlight key challenges facing the solar data ecosystem and identify new ways to improve data inefficiencies through partnership.


General Session
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Location: Ballroom 355
Daniel Simmons will talk about the role of the U.S. Department of Energy’s American-Made Solar Prize in accelerating solar innovation and manufacturing in the U.S.

American-Made Solar Prize Demo Day
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Location: 255E
Competitors in the American-Made Solar Prize will take the stage at a demonstration day event for the chance to win $500,000. The American-Made Solar Prize is a $3 million competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing through a series of contests that support entrepreneurs as they transform concepts into early-stage prototypes ready for industry testing.

Models that Inspire: New Ways Underserved Communities Are Going Solar and How to Replicate Success
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Location: Industry Trends Theater, Booth 7341
This session will present lessons learned and evidence-based best practices from the Solar in Your Community Challenge, which ended in May. This prize competition was designed to inspire new projects and programs that expand solar access to underserved groups. SETO staff will facilitate a discussion about the winners, their successful approaches to expand solar access, and how others can adopt their solutions. 

Technical Symposium – Uncertainty in PV System Performance Estimates: How to Assess Technical Risk
3:10 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. | Location: 253A
At this technical symposium, SETO Technology Manager Tassos Golnas will discuss the office’s efforts to measure the uncertainty in estimating the future performance of solar energy, which affects system value and project risk. He will propose actions to guide an industry-wide understanding of the root causes of uncertainty and how it is measured, ensuring that PV systems are valued fairly and accurately.

Scaling Up Low- and Moderate-Income Access to Solar
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Location: 251C
On this panel, SETO Program Manager Garrett Nilsen will talk about how to better facilitate solar adoption for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. He will discuss the Solar in Your Community Challenge and innovative programs and financing strategies to reduce the barriers of LMI access to solar.

American-Made Solar Prize Winners Announcement and Networking Event
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Location: Smart Energy and Microgrid Theater, Booth 5837
Daniel Simmons will announce the winners of the American-Made Solar Prize Demo Day and present oversized checks.


Technical Symposium Opening Remarks and Keynote
8:40 a.m. – 9:25 a.m. | Location: 253A
SETO Program Manager Garrett Nilsen will keynote the technical symposium. He will discuss the rapid development of evolving solar technologies that are reaching the energy market and beyond (such as solar desalination).

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