A new non-profit trade organization in the solar power industry has been formed by four leading solar companies in Arizona and in cooperation with Arizona State University. This new organization, Distributed Energy Resources Alliance (DERA), is devoted to the development of distributed energy resources. This includes battery storage, solar energy management, and technologies that benefits Arizona residents and local businesses.

Sunny Energy is one of the four founding solar companies of DERA. Sunny Energy’s very own Director of Operations, Joseph Cunningham, serves as DERA’s president. In addition to Sunny Energy and Arizona State University, local solar companies Elevation Solar, SouthFace Solar, and PV Advanced Concepts have all taken part in the creation of DERA, and each company has a member on the board of directors.

DERA’s mission is to promote the advancement of distributed energy resources, especially home solar, business solar and battery storage, so that consumers can continue to enjoy making and using their own electric energy. DERA is technology agnostic and it’s goals include a variety of activities that ultimately result in unhampered growth of home solar, business solar and other distributed energy technologies that help reduce peak hour energy usage, that promote grid stability, and that help everyone save money.

The non-profit trade organization’s initial goals that they would like to further educate stakeholders in the Arizona market are:

  • Work with companies who strictly sell home solar and business solar to understand the importance of combined solar, energy management and battery storage
  • Help educate Arizona home solar energy owners and potential buyers about the benefits of combining home solar with other distributed energy resource technologies
  • Understanding distributed energy resources (DERS) may be attractive, and adopted by, consumers, as well as what drives them away
  • Working with utility companies to help grow products, rate plans and other strategies to direct them in the adoption of DERS
  • Help technology companies understand the Arizona market and the associated new opportunities available in terms of products and services

DERA represents all groups – Arizona home solar owners, business solar owners, utility companies, solar businesses and technology companies, to advance in the future of distributed energy. DERA is looking to expand by seeking members from other Arizona solar companies, college students and faculty, and technology companies.

Very often, we hear about utility company changes to rates, incentives, solar initiatives, and more that appear to be aimed at negatively affecting solar. While utility companies do need to protect their businesses, most of these changes are due to the impact renewable energy, in particular solar in Arizona, is having on the electric grid. The electric grid was not designed or built to handle two way traffic, but distributed solar generation is just that. And, distributed solar generation has grown much faster than anybody ever anticipated.
Consumers want home solar and solar for their businesses. Home solar buyers are driving the adoption of home solar, business solar and other uses of solar much faster than anybody anticipated. Home solar provides individuals and families with independence, control over their
futures, choices, environmental benefits, health benefits and incredible cost savings. Home solar is something everybody can use, most people would like to have, and it’s only a matter of time before more people get electric energy from home solar than from the electric grid.

DERA’s goals include development of a holistic approach to unhampered growth of solar in Arizona, especially home solar, by including complementary technology. This technology, some of which is already developed and in use, can actually make distributed home solar energy generation, battery storage, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and energy management beneficial to the grid and utility companies. If done correctly, new business models will benefit consumers and utilities, allowing home solar and business solar growth to continue with no restraints.

What are some benefits Arizona home solar owners can expect from this new formation?
Distributed solar energy generation, especially by Arizona home solar owners, has grown far quicker than anybody expected it to. This is because consumers want it. They want choices in how they get energy. They want savings. They want to have more control over their future. They want to help the environment we live in. Because home solar has grown so quickly, and utility company and the electric grid technology was not ready, they have been forced to respond with new rate plans to encourage new distributed energy generation technology and to encourage consumers to change energy usage behavior. These changes have happened so quickly, without adequate technology to help, and without adequate consumer education, that consumers are frustrated.

DERA’s goals include the development of complementary technology and other consumer products, complimentary policy and utility facilities, along with new business models, that will offer Arizona home solar owners more choices, greater savings, better control of their energy use, while helping to modernize the utility grid.

The organization’s first appearance was at the Arizona Energy Transformation Conference at Arizona State University on April 13th, 2018. Expect to hear much more about DERA’s involvement with home solar users, home solar installation companies, how solar technology companies, policies concerning home solar use, and utility programs for home solar adopters.

Since Sunny Energy is one of the founding board members of DERA, with over ten years of experience installing over 3,000 home solar systems, Sunny Energy home solar buyers, and those just interested in learning more about home solar, can learn more about this holistic approach to generating and using more home solar energy by contacting Sunny Energy now.

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