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SEPA and its members grow ‘beyond solar’

Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, the Board of Directors of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) expanded the mission of the educational nonprofit to go beyond its original focus of utility solar to encompass a full range of distributed energy resources (DERs). Julia Hamm, SEPA’s CEO and President, recently sent a message to all members announcing the change. An edited version of the letter appears here.

It is amazing to see how far solar has come since SEPA  was founded in 1992, due in part to successful collaboration between utilities and the solar industry. Spurred by the interests and needs of our growing membership — now numbering 1,000 — SEPA’s research, education and advisory services have gradually incorporated other technologies that are at the forefront of the evolution of the energy industry.


SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm


As the reach of solar continues to expand, so will SEPA. We are excited to announce that — in response to the needs of our members and to provide optimal value to the energy industry — the SEPA Board of Directors has officially expanded our mission to include not only solar but all distributed energy resources.

The list of technologies now interacting with and optimizing solar includes DERs such as storage, microgrids, demand response and electric vehicles. Even more compelling is the opportunity for the power industry to deploy these resources in a comprehensive, integrated way through distribution resource planning and evaluation.

Our focus and commitment on utility-scale and distributed solar will not be diminished. In fact, we are adding new resources to augment our work, both on solar and other DERs. We see this change as a natural evolution that will help solar  — and SEPA — recognize our true potential.

This decision to reach beyond solar comes at a pivotal moment in the history of the energy industry, when the need for change is increasingly evident, as is the need for thoughtful planning and dynamic collaboration as we move into the future. SEPA remains committed to working with its members and all energy sector stakeholders to ensure a reliable, affordable and clean future for power consumers.