North America Smart Energy Week


September 28-29, 2021
Online Digital

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The team at SPI, ESI & Smart Energy Week strives to create an experience that embraces, recognizes, and celebrates the value of diversity and inclusion in all areas of the energy industry. Our programming showcases thought-leading content related to renewable energy, and we also strive to represent and highlight all parts of the industry in regards to race, ethnicity, gender, and age. We are proud to report that in 2020, 51% of the speakers in our sessions were women, and we continue to work towards greater diversity and inclusion for all in our future events. Our goal is to ensure that, holistically, Smart Energy Week and all Solar Power Events are sustainable, diverse, and forward-looking events for the industry.

Are you or someone you know interested in speaking or participating in a future Solar Power Event?
Fill out the Speaking Opportunities Interest Form to help us create future events that incorporate different perspectives and highlight the increasing diversity of the energy industry.

Speaking Opportunities Interest Form

2021 Sessions

QuickTalk: Expanding Energy Equity Through Building Electrification
How can we ensure the transition to an electrified grid is an equitable one? This Quicktalk will discuss how the benefits and challenges of moving toward building electrification will affect low-income communities and communities of color.

QuickTalk: Investing in Underserved Communities with Corporate Solar Procurement
In early 2020, Sol Systems announced a groundbreaking initiative with Microsoft that creates the first community investment fund and Microsoft’s single largest renewable energy portfolio energy purchase agreement. This QuickTalk will walk through how Sol Systems and Microsoft designed the 500 MW portfolio to maximize its positive environmental, community and societal impact and how corporate procurement of renewables can tie the purchasing of renewable energy to environmental justice and equity in under-resourced communities.

Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director, Energy Justice, Department of Energy
Adrian Anderson, Senior Director, Microsoft
Yuri Horwitz, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, SolSystems

Making Community Solar Accessible for Everyone
The community solar market is finally reaching a state of liquidity. Consumers have more projects to choose from and a growing opportunity to be selective and to shop around for the right fit. However, there’s a lot we’re still learning and barriers to adoption and retention still exist, particularly among hard-to-reach low- to middle-income subscribers. What are the solutions that can make community solar more accessible for everyone?

Raising the Bar for Responsible Land Use and Justice-Centered Siting Decisions: How We Respond to "Solar Saturation"
Land use and community impact concerns are growing as utility-scale and community solar penetration increases in many states and jurisdictions. Project developers with experiences across a variety of geographic areas will share insights on the best ways to achieve buy-in from local stakeholders on building out the next generation of solar projects. Considerations for equitable siting decisions, such as environmental justice, local employment and responsible environmental review will be addressed.

Paying It Forward: Solar Moves Toward Equity Through Financing Structures     
State, federal, and global leaders have injected fresh urgency into climate change solutions, including increasing solar generation. But will local economic investments in solar generation benefit all communities? This panel will focus on innovative financing structures that can deliver local economic value and support increased community services, increasing clean energy access to all Americans.

Vitaly Lee, Head, Development, Hanwha Q Cells U.S.A. Corp
Jonathan Abe, Chief Executive Officer, Sunwealth
Jason Barrett, Senior Vice President, Sales, GAF Energy
Nicole Sitaraman, Vice President, Strategic Engagement, Sustainable Capital Advisors

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We have made a commitment to ensure that all educational programs provided by Solar Power Events must represent the diversity that the industry values and aspires to recognize. Industry panels, webinars, and education sessions that lack diversity do not meet the standards of our organizations and will not be confirmed until we have enough participants that rightfully represent the renewable energy industry.

Solar Energy Trade Shows, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) are committed to ensuring that every person has a place in the future of the renewable energy industry. We believe that having a diverse workforce creates a more resilient organization - one that supports a strong, equitable solar industry.  We envision an industry that is committed to fostering a culture of inclusiveness at all levels.

Our partners and vendors are committed to the promotion of diversity & inclusion