As we enter the third quarter of 2016, the global distributed energy market is embracing standards and gaining momentum. Lead by SunSpec partners NREL and Solar Power Europe, transatlantic cooperation has resulted in the delivery of unified O&M best practices. Collaboration within the Smart Inverter Facilities Research Network (SIRFN), lead by SunSpec partner Sandia National Laboratories, is delivering advanced-function inverter test protocols that are being simultaneously deployed in North America, the EU and Asia. In the U.S., the UL 1741 SA standard is about to be published. This event will make advanced-function, communicating inverters mainstream in California and Hawaii and open new markets for grid support services.

The SunSpec Alliance is taking a number of concrete steps to help drive the market. First, we have introduced two new communication standards—one to enable module-level rapid shutdown and the other to enable lithium ion and flow batteries—that are planned for ratification this fall. If you would like to review these specifications, go to https://sunspec.org/download/. Final comments are due September 9.

Second, SunSpec will soon be opening a China office. This facility will focus on supporting the China domestic market for advanced function DER systems (PV + storage) and on enabling manufacturers to implement SunSpec communication specifications.

Third, we will be hosting an open industry meeting at Solar Power International to engage with members, showcase our work in the areas mentioned above, and explain the SunSpec roadmap for 2017. Please click here to register to attend this meeting on September 13 in Las Vegas.

We look forward to continuing this important effort to build the global DER market.

Tom Tansy
Chairman
The SunSpec Alliance