SGIP spearheads Energy Department working group focused on standardizing solar data and reducing soft costs
WAKEFIELD, Mass. , April 15, 2016 – SGIP announced today that it is receiving approximately $600,000 from theU.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to manage stakeholder engagement, strategy, and program evaluation for the Orange Button℠ initiative. This new initiative aims to simplify and standardize solar energy data so that industry stakeholders can exchange quality data and make solar transactions more efficient.
The Energy Department selected four organizations – SGIP, SunSpec Alliance, kWh Analytics, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) – to lead the Orange Button initiative and to streamline the way the solar industry establishes and manages data. In order to boost solar bankability, the four organizations will work together to tackle the challenge of creating a widely adoptable, unified data standard for the solar industry.
Because access to high quality data affects more than half the total price of a residential PV system, a robust data infrastructure for the solar industry is needed to enable rapid and seamless data exchanges between producers and consumers of solar data. By creating solar data standards, open marketplaces, and tools for accessing data by the private sector, Orange Button aims to reduce transaction inefficiencies and improve market transparency in a self-sustaining manner.
“This collaborative effort can help to drive down costs associated with solar projects, help project managers get better financing terms, and make investing in solar more compelling,” said Sharon Allan, president and CEO of SGIP. “Leaders of the Green Button Initiative demonstrated that a cross-sector, industry-wide initiative can be successful, and SGIP is well positioned to take a similar approach to engaging stakeholders and deploying more solar assets.”
SGIP will convene industry leaders to identify the use cases and frameworks required to develop broadly applicable data standards for the solar industry. Allan added, “Working in an open, industry-led process, we will spur the creation and adoption of de facto standards, and ensure their rapid transition into the daily operations of the broader solar market.”
By creating a standard, robust data infrastructure for the solar industry, banks and financiers can more easily analyze solar assets and integrate more solar into their portfolios. “We believe a reduction in the cost of capital as a result of better access to solar data will reduce risk and could result in savings of nearly $9 billion over the next 10 years to solar users,” said Aaron Smallwood, SGIP Director of Technology Operations.
SGIP will work alongside the SunSpec Alliance, kWh Analytics, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop the new solar data standards and disseminate information to stakeholders.
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.
SGIP is an industry consortium representing a cross-section of the energy ecosystem focusing on accelerating grid modernization and the energy Internet of Things through policy, education, and promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a sustainable energy future. Our members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers, and universities. A nonprofit organization, we drive change through a consensus process. Visit www.sgip.org.