SunSpec Alliance to Convene Global Technology Leaders to Discuss The “Electricity Grid in Evolution” on September 12, 2018

Gridvolution, a Global Climate Action Summit Affiliated event, to address Distributed Energy Resources data communications standards including California Rule 21, Cyber Security, Orange Button, and Rapid Shutdown

SAN JOSE, CA – September 6, 2018 – SunSpec Alliance, the information standards and certification organization for the Distributed Energy Resources (DER) industry, today announced speakers for its Global Climate Action Summit affiliated event, Gridvolution, Solar and Storage Finance Summit, to be held Wednesday, September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, CA.

Gridvolution gives voice to DER stakeholders working to digitize information and interoperability of energy assets. This platform for the “electricity grid in evolution” brings together those creating our digital energy reality with standardized data communications touching every aspect of residential, commercial, and industrial solar and energy storage.

Seventeen leading organizations will participate and present on September 12, 2018 including Blue Banyan Solutions, CableLabs, California Public Utilities Commission, Chapman and Cutler LLP, Clean Power Research, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Fronius USA, kWh Analytics,, SMA Solar Technology AG, Sandia National Laboratories, Sunrun, Texas Instruments, Tigo Energy, Wells Fargo, Wivity Inc. and XBRL, US.

The Global Climate Action Summit takes place Sept. 12-14, 2018, in San Francisco under the theme “Taking Ambition to the Next Level.” To keep warming well below 2 degrees C, and ideally 1.5 degrees C—temperatures that could lead to catastrophic consequences—worldwide emissions must start trending down by 2020. The summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments to give world leaders the confidence they can go even further by 2020 in support of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The summit’s five headline challenge areas are: Healthy Energy Systems, Inclusive Economic Growth, Sustainable Communities, Land and Ocean Stewardship, and Transformative Climate Investments.

Gridvolution, SunSpec Solar and Storage Finance Summit is part of the Healthy Energy Systems agenda. Senior executives will address opportunities in four major sectors of the digital energy grid, then weave them together as they envision the future taking shape in California today:

Streamlining Financial Market Availability of DER Assets through Orange Button

  • Charlie Isaacs, CTO for Customer Connection,
  • Jon Previtali, Director of Technology & Technical Services, Wells Fargo
  • Michelle Savage, Vice President of Communications, XBRL US
  • David Sykes, Partner, Chapman and Cutler LLP

Writing Code, Establishing the Orange Button Developer Community

  • Jonathan Xia, Applications Team Lead, kWh Analytics
  • Jan Rippingale, CTO, Blue Banyan Solutions
  • Jessie Deot, SunSpec Alliance
  • Orange Button Platform Demo by kWh Analytics

Building the Digital Grid – CA Rule 21 and Interoperability

  • Bob Fox, Head Engineer, SunSpec Alliance
  • Poormehr Honarmand, Director of Product Management, Sunrun
  • Justin Regnier, Senior Utilities Engineer, Grid Planning & Reliability, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Alan Saunders, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Clean Power Research

Addressing Safety Mandates – Communication Interoperability Solutions for NEC 2017 Rapid Shutdown Compliance

  • Zvi Alon, Chairman and CEO, Tigo Energy
  • Clark Cogan, Product Manager – Data, Communications & Services, Solar Energy, Fronius USA
  • Hannes Knopf, Head of Business and Portfolio Strategy, SMA Solar Technology AG
  • Ralf Muenster, Director of CTO Office, Texas Instruments

Cyber Security – Ensuring DER Systems on the Grid are Secure

  • Jay Johnson, Principal Member of Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Max Pala, Principal Security Architect, CableLabs
  • Candace Suh-Lee, Principal Technical Leader – Cyber Security, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
  • Alfred Tom, CEO, Wivity Inc.
Gridvolution, SunSpec Solar and Storage Finance Summit will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn, 10741 North Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA 95014. Registration is required. For more information see: The media is invited.


“As a business management consultancy focused on developing and implementing innovative solutions for the solar industry, we believe that streamlining data exchange across all parties – financiers, distributors, manufacturers, installers – is a critical instrument for reducing solar soft costs. SunSpec’s leadership of DOE’s Orange Button initiative, supported by growing industry participation in its key Working Groups, is making that goal a reality faster than many of us had anticipated.”
– Jan Rippingale, CTO, Blue Banyan Solutions
For more information:

“We stand just past the precipice of major change in the way we generate and use energy in our society, and these changes require nearly constant data exchange and secure communications. The collaborative approach of this event will help us continue to embrace these innovations while ensuring society will have access to safe and reliable energy into the future.”
– Candace Suh-Lee, Principal Technical Leader – Cyber Security, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
More information at

“As a founding member of the SunSpec Alliance, we are excited to see how SunSpec is successfully establishing industry standards. As an effect, these standards will enable open systems, drive down cost and allow for customer choice. We not only believe that industry standards have economic advantages but that they also ensure better safety. We believe that for a young industry, such as solar, standardization is key for further growth. SunSpec and its members have proven that they can establish valuable industry standards.”
– Clark Cogan, Product Manager – Data, Communications & Services, Solar Energy, Fronius USA
More information at:

“Orange Button Translate is the first piece of software designed exclusively to support the new Orange Button data standards, which will streamline data sharing in the market. kWh Analytics will release the Orange Button Translate software at Gridvolution and the Global Climate Action Summit. Orange Button Translate is free and available to the public. As the leading provider of risk management products, kWh Analytics has built and maintains the most comprehensive performance database of solar assets in the United States. We are proud to leverage our experience working with solar big data in support of the adoption of Orange Button along with the Department of Energy, NREL, SEPA, and SunSpec. More information can be found at:”
– Jason Kaminsky, COO kWh Analytics.

“Safety is a critical subject for solar integrators yet navigating the complex world of code compliance can be challenging,” said Hannes Knopf, Senior Expert Business & Portfolio Strategy, SMA Solar Technology. “SMA understands the value of supporting SunSpec’s industry-wide mission to leverage standardization and multi-vendor compatibility to achieve greater reliability and performance while reducing costs.”
More information at:

“Energy is the last fundamental industry to go digital. SunSpec is leading the solar and storage industry into this Internet based era. We’ve been defining data communications standards for the better part of ten years and are now seeing those standards serve as the foundation for industry defining mandates including California Rule 21, inverter and module level Rapid Shutdown, the Orange Button taxonomy structure and evolving cyber security protocols. Gridvolution brings all these discussions under one roof to explore the digitalization of the grid.”
– Thomas Tansy, Chairman, SunSpec Alliance. More information at:

“Innovation in solar power design continues at a rapid pace, and manufacturers are looking for ways to address the safety shutdown requirement,” said Brian Fortman, C2000 Marketing at Texas Instruments (TI). “In support of this goal, TI recently made available a rapid shutdown reference design based on our C2000™ real-time microcontrollers and precision analog circuits to ease time and system cost of integrating this capability into string inverters of any size.”
Texas Instruments provides resources, software and tools to help meet the NEC 2017 Rapid shutdown mandate.

“Tigo’s guiding light has always been to increase customer value and provide more energy at lower cost by developing innovative solutions utilized by multiple suppliers. PV module and inverter manufacturers benefit from these cost effective innovations, however, the only way to successfully navigate this space and provide the most benefits to the final customer is by driving common interfaces and adopting standards. SunSpec is one such association that inherently fosters this cooperation in its platform by creating a collaborative environment shared by many. The latest Rapid Shutdown Signaling specification is an important component that is helping the industry address customers’ needs.”
– Chairman & CEO of Tigo, Zvi Alon. Learn more at

“Wells Fargo has taken a leadership role in accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, including our commitment to provide $200 billion in financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030. Through the Orange Button Initiative, we are using innovation to break down barriers that exist to the financing of renewable energy projects and the issuing and buying of green bonds, boosting the continued development of projects with positive environmental and climate benefits.”
– Jon Previtali, Director of Technology & Technical Services for Wells Fargo Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance.
Find more information about Wells Fargo’s commitment to a low carbon future here:

“The industry should be commended for making cybersecurity a priority with regulations such as Rule 21.  We hope the regulations will be both effective and easy to implement, and we will continue to work with SunSpec to realize this goal.”
– Alfred Tom, CEO, Wivity Inc.
More information is available:

About SunSpec Alliance

SunSpec Alliance is the information standards and certification organization for the Distributed Energy Resources industry. SunSpec communication standards address operational requirements of solar and energy storage on the smart grid to reduce cost, promote technology innovation, and accelerate industry growth. More information at:

Media Contact

Tom Tansy
T: 408-217-9110

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