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Virtual Roundtables USA 2020

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Virtual Roundtables USA 2020

Resiliency in the wake of change

A global epidemic, extreme weather, and natural disasters, political elections… all occurring in the wake of changing technologies and materials. This year, we dive into the subjects that matter most in today’s thriving U.S. solar+storage market. The editorial team of pv magazine will moderate discussions relevant to the growing market with our Virtual Roundtables USA. Providing a virtual stage for our speakers, experts can easily join in from all of the country to bring industry and market insights directly to your home.

Our first session of the day is our

Quality Roundtable

11 am – 1 pm EST, New York | 8 am – 10 am PST, Los Angeles | 5 pm – 7 pm CET, Berlin

With the project lifetime of utility-scale solar power plants extending beyond 30 years– now more than ever it is important for developers and system plant owners to bring down LCOE, optimize plant performance, and ensure reliability over the full lifetime of the system. And all of this must occur against the backdrop of a changing climate with increased natural disasters.

 IN THE FACE OF EXTREME WEATHER: Hail, wind, and fires

We investigate cases and present field data from weather-related damages, and dive into recent issues from the field. Investigation into changing technologies and impact resistance against hail damage – there is a balance between technology and reliability to reduce premature degradation and field failures


Operations and maintenance is now a much more critical piece of the solar landscape and the key to long-term resilience and competitive LCOE. As grid-scale solar becomes a mature, sophisticated business — so is the modernization of the O&M segment. The O&M role in the U.S. is being increasingly contracted out to a third party – a trend typical of a maturing power industry. Insights and discussions into alliances supporting the long-term ownership challenges and opportunities ahead for a 30-year-plus asset.

Our second session of the day is our

 Advanced Technologies Roundtable

2 pm – 4 pm EST, New York | 11 am – 1 pm PST, Los Angeles | 8 pm – 10 pm CET, Berlin

Modules aren’t the only things growing in size. Storage technologies assume a more significant role in the global transition to renewable energy, and the U.S. market is at the forefront of large-scale storage. Join talks with the analysts and industry experts surrounding the standards, trends, and forecast for America’s battery storage market. Find out the opportunities, advantages, and challenges that lie ahead for the industry’s advancing ‘bigger is better’ mindset.


Despite the significant makeup of the United States’ battery storage market, behind-the-meter DERs are seemingly being overlooked by utilities and regulators in their capacity to provide grid services. We take a look at 2020, but also what where the market is anticipated to go in its move toward maturity

  • California lessons for storage project developers
  • Mitigating risk on large storage projects with data and the drive towards storage standards
  • The necessity of manufacturing audits for large storage project developers


Solar modules and wafers are trending large – in what seems to be an arms race for manufacturing the large panels. But the impacts of bigger modules fall across the industry – from solar module and inverter manufacturers to BOS and construction. Why are we moving toward larger modules & wafers and what are the advantages and challenges that lay ahead? Experts discuss.

Our program is now online.

Connect with industry players across the whole PV value chain!

Apart from the in-depth quality program sessions, you can also look forward to a multitude of virtual networking opportunities – no trade show halls required.


Bora Akyol | VP of Technology and Development | Trimark Associates, Inc.

The newest member of Trimark's leadership team, Bora orchestrates all of Trimark’s technology efforts, including product development and network security. Most recently, Bora coordinated Trimark’s entry into the MESA Standards Alliance. Bora has extensive knowledge of numerous network and security technologies, including Ethernet, MPLS, VPN, 802.11, MACSec, 802.1X, PKI, TCP, and IP. Bora received his BSEE from Bilkent University in Turkey, and earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. Moreover, he holds more than 20 patents on a plethora of networking and security technologies at multiple organizations.

Emily Arnold | Vice President, Engineering | 8minute Solar Energy

Emily Arnold is a licensed electrical engineer with a passion for renewable energy and deep expertise in PV and storage. At 8minute, Emily oversees a team responsible for technology diligence, plant design optimization and automation, bridging technical and commercial considerations to drive cost/benefit analyses and strategic design decisions. Before joining 8minute, Emily led the Performance Engineering and Technology Analytics Groups at Recurrent Energy, where she implemented LCOE initiatives and was involved in the modeling, financing and commissioning of over 2,000 MW of utility-scale solar PV projects across North America. Emily holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and a M.S. from Stanford University, with a focus in renewable energy systems and energy efficiency.

Colin Caufield | VP of Sales North America | Soltec

Colin Caufield has developed business and relationships with a rapidly expanding list of contacts since he joined Soltec in 2015. He is driven by his passion for renewable energy and people and is finding success with the Soltec offer and the positive state of the utility-scale PV tracker market in the USA with the ITC extension in place. In 2017, Caufield was promoted to VP of Sales North America. Nowadays he is in charge of searching for Utility-Scale Solar Installations and engaging with Developers to present the highest-quality and most innovative solution in the Single-Axis Solar Tracker market. Our competitive advantages achieve the lowest LCOE for Solar Asset Owners by minimizing installation and maintenance costs while maximizing energy output and efficiency.

Daniel Chang | VP of Business Development | RETC, LLC

Daniel Chang is the Vice President of Business Development at RETC where he is responsible for all sales and marketing activity. Daniel has over 15 years of technical sales and product management experience in the solar and semiconductor industry. Prior to joining RETC, Daniel has held roles in engineering, technical sales, and product management at First Solar, Jinko Solar Trina Solar, SunPower and Applied Materials. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Kaushik Roy Choudhury | Global Technical Leader | DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions

Kaushik is the Global Technical Leader of DuPont Photovoltaic Reliability program within the DuPont Photovoltaics and Advanced Materials business. He and his team work on long-term reliability and durability of PV packaging materials, degradation of polymeric materials in field-deployed PV modules, and PV system economics. Kaushik began his career with DuPont in 2011 as a Principal Investigator in DuPont Central R&D. At DuPont, he has led programs on metallization pastes for silicon photovoltaics, novel inorganic and hybrid thin-film solar absorbers, and light emitting and plasmonic nanomaterials. Kaushik has a Ph.D. in Materials Physics and over 20 years of experience in photovoltaic and optoelectronic materials.

Bernadette Del Chiaro | Executive Director | California Solar & Storage Association

Bernadette Del Chiaro came to the California Solar & Storage Association in July 2013 and has built the organization into the largest clean energy business group in the state. Prior to her work with CALSSA, Ms. Del Chiaro served as the Director of Clean Energy and Global Warming Programs at Environment California as well as the Western States Regional Director for Environment America. Since 2002, Bernadette has been a leading voice on many California clean energy initiatives including the Million Solar Roofs Initiative (SB 1), the Solar Water Heating Initiative (AB 1470), the continued expansion of Net Energy Metering, the establishment of streamlined solar permitting (AB 2188), and the expansion of consumer incentives for energy storage (SB 700), among other victories.

Tara Doyle | Chief Commercial Officer | PV Evolution Labs (PVEL)

Tara Doyle is Chief Commercial Officer of PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), the leading independent lab for the global downstream solar industry. She currently leads PVEL’s business development, project management and marketing teams. With over 15 years of solar industry experience, Tara built the foundation of PVEL’s commercial operations as one of the company’s earliest employees. She began her career at SunPower where she managed corporate operations and client engagement programs. Tara is an author of PVEL’s Scorecards and holds a BA from St. Mary’s College of California and an M.Sc. from Huntington University of Health Sciences.

Hongbin Fang | Director of Product Marketing | LONGi

Hongbin Fang is Director of Product Marketing at LONGi, a global leading dedicated monocrystalline solar wafer, cell and module manufacturer. Hongbin Fang has been working in semiconductor and solar industry for more than 20 years. Before joining LONGi in 2016, Hongbin was working at SunEdison for 5 years, where he has led the effort on solar wafer, cell and module integration, new technology and new supplier introduction into HVM manufacturing. Hongbin earned his BS degree in Materials Science from University of Science and Technology of China and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University.

Ian Gregory | Managing Director | PI Berlin

Ian became Director of Product Marketing at the Massachusetts based PV panel manufacturer Evergreen Solar in 2006 that deployed a unique StringRibbon™ wafer technology. He was responsible for managing the company’s products and marketing efforts until early 2011 when he left to form SolarBuyer together with a former colleague. The company focuses on the diligence and quality assurance of PV equipment for major buyers and investors in the industry. Ian ran SolarBuyer until 2018 when it was acquired by PI Berlin. Ian now runs the US division of PI Berlin.

Sarah Herman | Director, Engineering and Remote Operations | NovaSource Power Services

Sarah Herman is the Director of Engineering and Remote Operations at NovaSource Power Services. Sarah leads the team providing remote monitoring, engineering, and SCADA support to the global fleet of power plants and commercial systems managed by NovaSource Power. Sarah has over 10 years of experience in the renewable energy industry; she previously managed SunPower’s Remote Operations Control Center, as well as their Commercial & Industrial portfolio fleet performance. Prior to that, Sarah worked as independent engineer at the consulting firm DNV GL. She holds an M.S. in Energy Systems Engineering and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering both from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor; She is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer in Texas.

Julian Jansen | Associate Director | IHS Markit

Julian Jansen is an Associate Director in the Gas, Power and Energy Futures Consulting team at IHS Markit. He leads the group’s consulting activities on clean energy technologies. Julian has over 8 years of consulting and research experience in the energy sector – focusing on energy storage, distributed energy resources, system flexibility and the interplay between e-mobility and the energy industry. Previously, he led IHS Markit’s global energy storage research team, providing deep insight on key value drivers and emerging business models accelerating storage deployment across the world, as well as covering technology development and the competitive landscape.

Erica Johnson | Managing Editor | pv magazine group

Erica joined the pv magazine team in April 2019 as managing editor. In addition to leading the global editorial team alongside Jonathan and Becky, she focuses on solar+storage content, and manages the special publications business. She has more than a decade of experience working in the PV industry, supporting the energy transition across the public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors.

K Kaufmann | Journalist | pv magazine USA

K Kaufmann has been writing about the U.S. and global energy transition for over a decade, as a mainstream and industry journalist and as a communications professional for both nonprofit and corporate organizations. She created the energy beat at a mainstream daily in Southern California, worked as communications manager for the Smart Electric Power Alliance and currently is working as a communications consultant and freelance journalist. She also writes articles for pv magazine.

Thomas Koerner | Corporate Vice President, Module and System Solutions | Canadian Solar

Thomas Koerner is Canadian Solar’s Corporate Vice President of Module, System and Solutions (MSS)- Business Unit. With an extensive technical and business background, Mr. Koerner has held various leading management & board positions in the solar industry for over 15 years. Mr. Koerner joined Canadian Solar in December 2012 as the General Manager for its US operations. In 2014 he became responsible for all Canadian Solar activities in North, Central and South America. Since 2016, he has been responsible for all global sales activities for Canadian Solar’s Modules and Components division.

George Schulz | Vice President, Clean Energy | Ariel Re

Market lead in North America for Argo Group (Ariel Re, Lloyds of London) Clean Energy team that develops and distributes insurance risk solutions to the global renewable energy markets. With over 20 years in financial services and insurance, experienced in product development, underwriting and structuring innovative risk management solutions. Prior to joining Argo in 2017, the U.S. lead for Munich Re’s Special Enterprise Risks focused on technology performance risk products. Previously, the Senior Vice President for structured products at financial guaranty insurer, Radian Asset Assurance, Inc., he also co-founded the infrastructure finance business at Radian.

Alex Roedel | Sr Director of Design and Engineering | Nextracker

Alex Roedel is Director of Design and Engineering at Nextracker. With over 12 years in the solar industry leading design and engineering for Fortune 1000 companies such as SunPower and SPG Solar, Alex is responsible for the design and engineering of over 26 GWs of installed projects. He leads a global team of design engineers and is the company’s customer-facing technical lead with developers and EPCs worldwide. Alex earned his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Jigar Shah | President and Co-Founder | Generate Capital

Jigar Shah is the President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital, the leading investment and operating platform for sustainable infrastructure. Founded in 2014, Generate Capital is the only “one-stop-shop” for pioneers leading the Resource Revolution. Prior to Generate, as the Founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE), Shah pioneered “no money down solar”, which unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market and became the largest solar services company worldwide before its acquisition by MEMC. Shah is the author of Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. After SunEdison, Shah served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Shah’s decades of experience in renewable energy consistently show that business model innovation and entrepreneurship are two of the keys to proving that sustainability pays. Shah holds an M.B.A. from The University of Maryland and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Dean Solon | President and CEO | Shoals Technologies Group

As the President and CEO of Shoals Technologies Group, Dean Solon is responsible for running all facets of the business. Dean has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience driving sales and technological growth in the solar industry. Dean founded Shoals in 1996 with partners and in the year 2000, bought all their shares in the business, and changed the course of Shoals from manufacturing for the automotive industry to the solar industry. While solar was in it’s infancy, Dean saw an opportunity to bring his extensive automotive knowledge and experience to a fledgling industry.

George Touloupas | Director of Technology and Quality | Clean Energy Associates

George Touloupas is the Director of Technology and Quality at the solar PV quality assurance, supply chain management and engineering services firm Clean Energy Associates. At CEA, he leads projects centered on developing CEA’s internal quality standards, researching new production technologies, and developing new services. George has an extensive background in PV manufacturing, as well as downstream experience, working among others, prior to joining CEA, as the Chief Operating & Technical Officer at Philadelphia Solar in Jordan and Technical & Operations Director at Recom.

Jeff Wang | Business Development Alternative Energies – North America | Stäubli Electrical Connectors

Jeff Wang is on a mission to make PV industry a safer and bankable place by sharing Stäubli’s of DC cabling knowledge. A perfect DC cabling practice is neither a difficult task nor a costly operation, but in many different ways the industry still suffers from unexpected failure in the DC cabling system because of lacking technical understanding. Educated with a physics degree from University of Hawaii and started his career as PV installation company owner in Costa Rica 2006. Jeff’s presentation is filled with practical examples and undisputed technical reasons to provide audience Stäubli’s perspectives on correct DC cabling practice. After all, we are all sitting on the front roll seat of an energy evolution, doing things diligently now is the foundation of a better future.

Dr Xiaoting Wang | Energy Specialist | BloombergNEF

Dr Xiaoting Wang joined BloombergNEF in 2012, currently conducting research as an energy specialist focusing on solar technology. Her routine research scope covers shifts in crystalline silicon module technology, perovskites, and innovation in PV project design, construction, and maintenance. Xiaoting’s recent research topics have included integrated design of PV and storage systems, and economics of making hydrogen from renewables. Before her career at BNEF, Xiaoting earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware. Xiaoting had 19 academic publications on topics of high efficiency PV technologies and applications.

Marian Willuhn | Editor | pv magazine

Covering news on power electronics, start-ups, and inverters, Marian writes for pv magazine’s International, Australian, and German online presences. He also edits the international print magazine and organizes webinars and events. Prior to joining in 2018, Marian worked as a PR-advisor for different clients in the field of renewables.

Jim Bishop | Director – Advanced Technologies Solutions | Ameresco

Mr. Bishop experience in federal energy efficiency and renewable energy projects spans over 22 years. His background includes electrical power, lighting, fire alarm systems, protective relaying, cogeneration plants, solar and alternative methane fuel sourced renewable energy, and distributed generation. Mr. Bishop’s recent federal project development experience includes resiliency focused energy projects for the Marine Corp Recruit Depot at Parris Island, the U.S. Army at Fort Detrick, and the U.S. Navy at Portsmouth and Norfolk Naval Shipyards. He is a licensed professional engineer (PE) and a certified energy manager (CEM). He holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Ben Damiani | CTO | Solar Inventions

Ben is currently the CTO of Solar Inventions, winners of the first American Made Solar Prize in 2019, the largest monetary award ever given by the USA Department of Energy. Ben has spent his career in solar. His innovations have enjoyed global reach through his work at early solar pioneers, Suniva and SolarWorld. He has worked across the world commercializing new solar technologies and building solar manufacturing facilities. He holds several patents and has authored more than 30 papers.

Jennifer Shaltanis | Program Manager | Duke Energy

Jennifer Shaltanis is the program manager for the Duke Energy Federal Team, overseeing more than $250 million in current contracts. Jennifer began her career in the air pollution field, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from NC State University and a doctorate in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from Washington State University. In her ten years as a state and federal government employee, she worked in air pollution modeling, engineering, and policy before migrating to energy/sustainability to take a more active role in addressing air pollution at its sources.

Stetson Tchividjian | Director of Business Development | D3Energy

Stetson joined the D3 team about 4 years ago, bringing with him over 10 years of experience in both finance and business operations. The floating solar sector has been an exciting, growing space with over 700 MW of power installed, comprised of over 200 FPV plants in 30 countries. In 2020, D3Energy completed multiple projects in the U.S., including both the Miami & Orlando International Airports, as well as the largest FPV plant in the Southeast, a 1MW system for the City of Altamonte Springs.

Tim Sylvia | Editor | pv magazine USA

Tim has been with pv magazine since May 2018. He covers project development, legal issues and renewable energy legislation, as well as contributing to the daily Morning Brief.

Cameron Bard | National Co-Chair | Clean Energy for Biden

Cameron Bard is one of twelve founding co-chairs of Clean Energy for Biden, a network of clean economy business leaders and advocates organized to elect Joe Biden as President and advance policies, technologies and investment to address the climate challenge.

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