SALT LAKE CITY — An estimated 19,000 people are anticipated to be in Salt Lake City next week for what is being billed as the largest energy trade show in North America featuring four days of presentations as well as the latest technological innovations on the market.
Solar Power International kicks off Monday and concludes Thursday at the Salt Palace Convention Center, where there will be a “Hydrogen & Fuel Cells & EV Experience” theater and a ride-and-drive event with the latest carbon free vehicles and hybrids.
The trade show is part of North America Energy Week, featuring Energy Storage International, and is in its 15th year.
Along with industry executives and clean energy advocates, the event taps the expertise of government agencies such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
On Wednesday, Jordan Macknick, the laboratory’s lead energy, water and land analyst, will participate in a session on land use and the nexus as well as benefits of solar energy and agriculture.
Another scheduled panelist in that session is Lexie Hain, executive director of the American Solar Grazing Association.
Ryan Evans will moderate a discussion Tuesday on the acceleration of renewable energy adoption in the Intermountain West.
In Utah, for example, the generation of electricity from solar power increased by 25 times from 2015 to 2017.
A recent report ranked Utah at No. 10 in the country for its rate of solar adoption over the last decade.
Panelists in that discussion include Laura Nelson, Gov. Gary Herbert’s energy adviser and director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development.
Wednesday also features a live microgrid demonstration via a 3D simulator and a session on how to integrate electrical vehicles with the power grid.
Lehi-based Vivint Solar CEO David Bywater will open the show officially at 5 p.m. Monday, prior to the first conference session.
Vivint Solar is the nation’s second-largest solar installer.
“Utah is leading the country in renewable energy; it’s ranked 10th in solar production in the United States,” he said. “We’ve made great strides in recent years powering homes and businesses with renewable energy and creating thousands of clean energy jobs throughout the state.”
The conference is partnering with the Salt Palace and its community partner, Observe & Serve, to upcycle plastic grocery bags into sleeping pads. Salt Palace staff have been collecting plastic bags throughout the year.
Conference participants will have the opportunity to use those bags by creating mats in a new “activation space” on the show floor.
The event features 700 exhibitors, including Utah County businessman Glenn Jakins, chief executive officer of Humless.
Jakins is an African immigrant who, after 20 years in the United States, owns six multimillion-dollar businesses. Humless is a generator powered by a lithium-iron-phosphate battery that he was inspired to create after a fellow camper in the California redwoods region let a diesel generator run most of the night.
The Humless 12 volt or 600 watt-hours generator can be recharged with a 120-watt solar panel and has a 10-year life expectancy.
For more information on the show, go to smartenergyweek.com.