SunSpec oSDX Workgroup Updates from Leadership

U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative
Orange ButtonSM
Harmonizing Data for the Entire Asset Lifecycle
to Unlock Solar Bankability

As part of the Orange Button SunShot Initiative, the SunSpec Open Solar Data Exchange (oSDX) is taking shape with contributions from many enthusiastic subject matter experts. The work of defining a standards-based data taxonomy is under way and we thought it was time for a broader update. There is much work to be done and we need your help to complete this important work.

Here is what our group leaders have to say:

Finance Group
From Michelle Savage (VP Communication, XBRL US) and
Sam Adeyemo (Chief Operating Officer, Aurora Solar)
Co-Chairs of the Finance TWG

“The focus of the finance group thus far has been on defining each data field in a spreadsheet that reflects areas of project and portfolio finance including tax equity financing that today has around 1500 elements. Once definitions have been input, we plan to map against the XBRL US GAAP Taxonomy to identify existing concepts and gaps where new concepts must be created. We’re also working on secondary financing where we’re in the process of combining three sets of data fields (from SunSpec, XBRL US and IECRE) and removing duplicate data fields. Over the next month we’ll be engaging additional experts in project finance and securitization to review the sets of data fields. We’ll combine the datasets to remove duplicates and begin building into the XBRL taxonomy framework. Would like to identify additional subject matter experts in these two areas who are prepared to review and provide comment on labels and definitions.”

Next meeting: Monday, October 31 @ 10:30 am PT
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Operations Group
From Geoff Klise (Lead Researcher, Sandia National Laboratory) and
Dr. Cliff Hansen (Technical Lead, Sandia National Laboratory)
Co-Chairs of the Operations TWG

“The Operations working group for oSDX has held seven calls since the kickoff meeting. Early focus by the group was developing the structure and language for the three main topic areas of Asset Management, Plant Operations, and Decomissioning. After that, discussion moved towards looking at what finance was developing and getting the working group to think about anything in the operations area that is developed as a use case and needs to be thought of in terms of bankability. The group has identified the top five use cases from a larger list provided by Area A of the Orange Button Initiative: Monthly Operations Reporting, Handover from EPC to O&M provider, Contractual Reporting, Buying/selling PV assets (combined with) Refinance and re-insuring existing assets, Changing O&M provider, and Grid Integration Operational Planning. Next we will start defining data taxonomy for the use cases, referring to existing standards and best practices where available.”

Next Meeting: Monday, October 31 @ 9:00 am PT
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Feasibility Group
From Skip Dise (Product Manager, Clean Power Research) and
Evelyn Fisher (Product Manager,,
Co-Chairs of the Feasibility TWG

“I wanted to update you all on the progress that we’ve made to date and invite you to join our weekly calls. We’re at the stage where we’ve defined a number of high and medium priority sub-topic areas (use cases) and are defining the “need”, “nice” and “optional” data fields that support each case. We will definitely benefit from your input as we evaluate the data fields, then translate these fields into data schema (taxonomy) and build test APIs. Topics to be covered in order of priority are; (High) Customer Assessment, Economic Analysis, Off-Taker Credit and Site Assessment, (Medium) Taxes, Real Estate and Interconnection, and (low) Permitting.”

Next Meeting: Monday, November 7 @ 1:00 pm PT
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Design Group
From Taesung Kim (Chief Engineering Officer, New Generation Power) and
Raymond Kaise (Director of Energy Management Systems, Amzur Technologies)
Co-Chairs of the Design TWG

“The Design TWG was previously meeting on a weekly basis but is now every other Tuesday at10:00am PDT. Thus far we have focused on the broad use case of providing input to the construction and O&M processes. Accordingly, we have finished the first version of oSDX Design TWG Data Element Taxonomy format file. Defining these design data elements is the basis for developing the data taxonomy and APIs that the oSDX is seeking to produce. In the next month our group will fill out the Data Element format file and invite design experts to contribute their knowledge.”

Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 8 @ 10:00 am PT
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Construction Group
From Joe Cunningham (Director of Operations, Sunny Energy)
Chair of the Construction TWG

“The main focus of the Orange Button initiative is to improve bankability, which is a huge task. In looking at the progress of the SWG and TWG Finance groups, many of their requirements are produced by or used by Construction. Using the SWG and TWG Finance requirements as a guide, Construction TWG is starting to build the data taxonomy for those Finance requirements that are used by, or produced by, Construction, as defined in the oSDX scope. Using Project Portfolio Finance (Finance SWG Use Cases 9.23.16) to start, categorize each report and document, which are associated with Construction, as Used By, Produced By, or Partially Produced By, Construction. Each of the reports and documents, or groups of them, will be Use Cases. For example, Permits encompasses a group of Documents and Reports required by Finance. The data taxonomy has been started for Permits.”

Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 8 @ 11:30 am PT
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This is a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative

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


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