The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) said Friday a number of new products, projects and awards will be unveiled at its seventh annual Photovoltaic Experience Conference and Exhibition (UPEx’02) in Austin, Texas, November 12-15, 2002.Washington, D.C., October 28, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] UPEx’02, combining for the first time with Texas Renewables ’02, will feature leading-edge green technologies, including a new product release by Schott APC and a multiple-product launch event by PowerLight Corporation. A major joint venture between one of the leading PV module manufacturers and one of the nation’s most experienced installers will be announced, as will a report on current incentives for commercial and residential customers of PV generation systems. In addition, the conference will feature the announcement of the annual SEPA Award winners for Solar Program Achievement. The awards recognize outstanding contributions in three categories: Public Awareness and Industry Leadership, Development of a Sustainable Solar Business Plan, and Development of a Solar Community. UPEx’02 comes at a time when solar electric systems and other Renewable Energy technologies are experiencing both escalating public interest and large increases in manufacturing capacity. These improvements are leading to widespread implementation and greater profitability in Renewable Energy businesses. “Solar technology continues to improve at the same time that we recognize a growing role for Renewable Energy to help meet national and global energy demands,” said Jeff Serfass, General Manager of SEPA. “This year’s UPEx will be an exciting time for us to bring our experiences together to expand solar business.” The conference will be held in Austin, Texas, in conjunction with Texas Renewables ’02, the annual meeting of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association. Both meetings will hold their exhibitions jointly with the Green Building International Conference and Expo presented by the U.S. Green Building Council. The lead cosponsors of UPEx’02 are the U.S. Department of Energy and Commonwealth Edison, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, which provides service to more than 3.4 million customers across northern Illinois. More than 300 energy service provider, photovoltaic industry, finance, government and research professionals are expected to attend the UPEx’02 Conference. “We are at an exciting time for solar electric power generation,” said Mary O’Toole, SEPA’s Chair and Commonwealth Edison’s Director of Environmental Strategy. “New technologies are emerging, existing products are becoming less expensive and more efficient and there are PV systems appearing everywhere – on homes and businesses all around the world. UPEx will be the event to find out how each of our businesses is developing to respond to this swiftly growing market.” Although many will be anxious to hear the new announcements, one of the main purposes of UPEx is to support an informational exchange among the leaders in PV, Renewable Energy technologies, and electric utilities. Shared successes motivate all to develop and expand these emergent “green” businesses. Since its inception in 1996, UPEx has proved to be an important resource for utilities, energy service providers, PV companies, and other businesses interested in using solar electric power to deliver customer-preferred solar energy. This year’s conference is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Commonwealth Edison, Schott Applied Power, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Solar, AstroPower, Nuon, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ASE Americas, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Pacific Solar Pty., Salt River Project, Western Area Power Administration, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Bekaert ECD Solar Systems, CSG Services, Evergreen Solar, Hawaii Electric Light Company, PowerLight Corporation, and Navigant Consulting. Based in Washington, D.C., SEPA works with energy service providers and PV industry leaders to help make solar power a mainstream element of energy service business strategies. SEPA helps to establish standards for photovoltaic systems and their interconnection to the utility grid, hosts cross-industry workshops, and manages educational and outreach campaigns. The association serves as a full-service clearinghouse for information on solar electricity. SEPA’s membership includes 130 energy service providers; utilities; utility associations; photovoltaic module and component manufacturers; PV installers, integrators, and distributors; government agencies; research organizations; and educational institutions from eight countries. SEPA was formerly known as the Utility PhotoVoltaic Group.