Any time you’re greeted at the entrance to an event by a seven-piece rocking jazz ensemble, you have to believe you’re in for a first-class experience…and so it was.
While attendance figures for last week’s Ninth Annual Intersolar North America have yet to be released—pre-event estimates were for 18,000 visitors with another 9,000 exhibitor staff—it felt to me like a good deal more than that as I tromped from floor-to-floor, booth-to-booth at San Francisco’s Moscone Center West.
Each of San Francisco’s landmark event center’s three floors contained exhibition areas geared to specific interests:
- Ground Floor- solar products
- Second Floor- storage and electronics products
- Third Floor- racks, mounting, and tracking equipment
As fascinating as the exhibition items were, I found the backstory activities equally so with what I believe to be the growing recognition that the key to the future lies in integration in each of the focus areas of residential, commercial, and industrial/utility systems…a veritable banquet from soup to nuts or perhaps plug-and-play.
Moscone Center seems particularly appropriate to the event in that the solar electricity system installed on its roof in 2004 signaled the city’s first step towards obtaining its energy from pollution-free sources. With the 60,000-square-foot solar array (675-kW capacity) in place, the solar system—in conjunction with energy efficiency savings—delivers enough energy to power nearly 10,000 homes.