In response to the continuing evolution of solar and clean energy, the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) will undergo a rebranding as the Smart Electric Power Alliance on April 11.
According to SEPA’s release, the new name reflects what the group’s members do every day – evolve the ways we generate, deliver and consume the power that drives our economy.
“Utilities across the country are helping customers integrate an ever-expanding catalog of distributed energy technologies into their lives and onto the grid,” says Steven Malnight, senior vice president of regulatory affairs at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. “SEPA’s balanced views and thought leadership [and] its focus on collaboration and smart solutions are critical during this period of rapid growth. This new name reflects both our industry’s present reality and the important role smart technology will play in our energy infrastructure future.”
According to SEPA, the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid decided to fold into SEPA last fall, ahead of this change, to combine forces for greater impact. The release specifies that in the coming months, the alliance will roll out a new logo and website, an expanded research agenda, and educational events that reflect a wider focus on distributed resources.
“Siemens is excited to be part of the new SEPA, with its expansion into the full range of distributed energy resources, including demand response, smart grids, energy storage, intelligent energy efficiency and more,” says Chris King, chief regulatory officer for Siemens’ digital grid. “These are hugely important topics and continue to be a strong focus for Siemens as our industry undergoes a rapid evolution in technology and business models.”
According to SEPA, the official switch to Smart Electric Power Alliance coincides with the eighth annual Utility Solar Conference in Denver – a platform for utilities to learn best practices and address the challenges of deploying and administering solar and other distributed technologies on the grid.
“Utility integration and deployment of solar continues to be a core focus of this organization,” says Julia Hamm, SEPA’s president and CEO. “But, adding high volumes of solar to our distribution and transmission grids – while providing customers with clean, affordable and reliable power – also means integrating a range of fast-changing and increasingly sophisticated technologies and resources.
“Our name change captures the dynamic nature of the transformation under way while reaffirming our commitment to unbiased research and cross-industry collaboration,” states Hamm.