Introducing the SolarCurator Tweature
Where a whole lotta Tweets make a feature
Twitter may limit each Tweet to 140 characters or less, but what happens when a large collection of microblogs gets pulled together into one, longer-form feature? You get what we like to call a Tweature. The Curator attended Greentech Media’s Solar Summit in Phoenix this week and live-Tweeted thousands of characters from the conference. Since many in the solar sector have yet to catch onto—or pay much attention to—the social media forum with the funny avianesque name but might appreciate some short-form commentary, a recap Tweature of GTM’s fifth annual foray follows here.
Note that apart from correcting one or two typos, the posts appear in their original form, with all the quirky alternative spellings, abbreviations, hashtags (#GTMSS12 is the event’s handle), and the like that make up Tweet-speak. The curated Tweature starts with a handful of aphoristic blurbs and one-liners published before the summit started, then flows chronologically through the first and second days of the conference.
GTM SOLAR SUMMIT PREVIEW
#SolarCurator will be in the house at the Greentech solar summit. Ask him about the beta site. #solar #GTMSS12
Tues AM session at #GTMSS12: “Thriving Amidst the Chaos” addresses #solar supplier strategies. AKA upstream survival strategies.
Ask @greentechmedia editor Eric Wesoff which harmonica he blows and who his influences are at #GTMSS12. #solarblues #charliemusselwhite
Will the conference conclude before another #shakeout on the #solar scene? Some fear for their jobs, others remain steadfast. #GTMSS12
Discussion pt: How to wean #solar installers off idea, “if I wait a month, module prices will come down!” #GTMSS12 #racetothebottom
GTM SOLAR SUMMIT DAY 1
Shyam Mehta at #GTMSS12: China needs to “pull plug” on less-competitive #solar manufacturing across vertical, to deal with overcapacity.
Shyam Mehta at #GTMSS12: Gross margins for best in class #solar producers may return in 2012, but for weaker cos margins may never return.
Shyam Mehta at #GTMSS12: #Solar industry in “weaning period,” transition between subsidized and unsubsidized demand. Move away frm FIT mkts.
Tom Doyle/NRG at #GTMSS12: Agua Caliente #solar project year ahead of construc sched, on budget, a #DOE success story not properly told.
Tom Doyle/NRG at #GTMSS12: Company focusing on 20-50MW utility-scale #solar sweetspot in mkt, less on huge farms; also, distrib solar.
Tom Doyle/NRG at #GTMSS12: Wraps energetic, stirring talk and call to #solar community to get the message out. #solaroutreach
Supplier strategies panel at #GTMSS12: JA #Solar‘s Jonathan Pickering sees “much, much higher” capac utiliz rates ovr last qtr.
Supplier strategies panel #GTMSS12: Mark Willingham of Schiller notes capac replacemnt need after older assets retired. Timing? #solar
Supplier strategies panel #GTMSS12: REC, Canadian #Solar agree prod differentiation will become more importnt; diff prods fr diff sectors.
MJ Shiao at #GTMSS12: Thin film #solar capex usually higher than crystalline, but lower capex can mitigate capacity underutilization.
MJ Shiao #GTMSS12: Thinfilm #solar cos tht find demand outlets & hit effic, yield, scale targets could b very competitive in med, long trm.
MJ Shiao #GTMSS12: Even @FirstSolar could b candidate fr investmnt or purchase by major strategic; & why did FS kill #CIGS grp? #solar
Resid installer tells me he uses Suntech, SolarWorld, LG MT @Clint_Wilder ~50% of US #solar projs last yr used Chinese panels #GTMSS12
Eric Romano/Dupont at #GTMSS12: #solar module warranties are marketing documents, not technical documents; won’t cover performance risk.
Eric Romano/Dupont #GTMSS12: Sees lots of leverage in “operating discipline” to be found down the value chain; reliability emphasis #solar
Komax at #GTMSS12: Among drivers fr #solar tool cost/price reducs, service can no longer be ‘giveaway’ as tool ASPs plummet. #valueadd
Komax #GTMSS12: Some cell/module tech ‘improvemnts’ create challenges fr toolmakers; need fr tool, product dev roadmap alignment. #solar
Dave Taggart/Belectric #GTMSS12: Still sees thinfilm #solar as very competitive module tech, will continue to use where it makes sense.
Good question at #GTMSS12: #CIGS folks hang hats on better temp coeffics; why does metric vary so much across diff CIGS module techs? #solar
Mike Grunow/Trina #GTMSS12: The dreaded ‘bootie call,’ when developer calls @ 11th hr, asks u 2 drop pants, compete on price alone. #solar
Andrew Gabor #GTMSS12: Using silver in crystalline process is like “printing money on fronts and backs of every #solar cell.”
GTM SOLAR SUMMIT DAY 2
Barry Broome/GPEC at #GTMSS12: “We consider this [ #solar ] industry the most important in Arizona.” #jobs #investment #cleanenergy
Barry Broome/GPEC #GTMSS12: When housing mkt comes bk in AZ in 2014, tens of thousands of new homes will be solarized each year. #solar
Mike Smith/Constellation Energy #GTMSS12: “Fast forward to this conference 5 years frm now, and half of it will be about storage.” #solar
Missing investing in solar in 2012 session at #GTMSS12: Buy, sell or hold? None of the above, esp when it comes to pure-play #solar cos.
Crystalline v. thinfilm #PV debate #GTMSS12: Sivaram/Twin Creeks: scaling drove 10X cSi cost reduc; 2X reduc TK via innovation nxt 5 yrs.
Crystalline v. thinfilm #PV debate #GTMSS12: Taggart/Belectric says TFPV fabs can improve effics while reducing costs, unlike cSi factories.
Moderator Eric Wesoff cracks wise during cSi vs. TFPV debate at #GTMSS12, calling #Nanosolar “famed dollar oxidizer.” #solar #CIGS
Audience comment thinfilm v. cSi debate #GTMSS12: Don’t underestimate incumbent matl’s ability 2 keep making incrementl improvemnts.
Inverter/BOS session at #GTMSS12: Emerging inverter trends–ASP pressures, more granular/smarter MPPT, reliability/bankability focus…
Inverter/BOS session at #GTMSS12: Emerging inverter trends contd.–new grid support features, emergence of module-level electronics
MJ Shiao at inverter/BOS session #GTMSS12: Tests show Tier 1 Chinese cos inverters as reliable as European units; increasing mkt share.
Todd Miklos/Envect #GTMSS12 inverter panel: Beyond $/watt & optimized LCOE, control & dispatchability emerging mkt/customer needs. #solar
Tucker Ruberti/AE #GTMSS12 inverter panel: grid integration becoming main chall; need lot more distrib sys intell 2 integrate PV. #solar
Elie Nasr/SMA #GTMSS12 inverter panel: intermittency = no. 1 issue in discussions w/ all utilities across No America. #solar #gridparity
Scuttlebutt at #GTMSS12: Was that a 50MW module deal I thought I heard someone closing on the phone? Crystalline, not thin film. #solar
Microinversion/power optimization panel #GTMSS12: Bill Rossi/Enphase says co micros = 30% US resid installs, 30% of biz = commercial. #solar
Microinversion/power opto panel #GTMSS12: Wht 2 do w/ Gbytes of data on #solar module-level perfrmance collected by monitoring sys?
Microinversion/power opto panel #GTMSS12: Dallas Meyer/tenK #Solar touts his system’s unique redundancy capabilities over and over.
BOS panel #GTMSS12: Dean Solon/Shoals says “people ask us 2 do stupid things & we can do stupid things all day long.” Except modules. #solar
#GTMSS12 wraps up; another solid effort from the folks at Greentech. Watch @SolarCurator for post-coverage, commentary and more. #solar
Watch for more short-attention-span friendly SolarCurator Tweatures from a solar industry event near you, or just get those Tweets one at a time by following @solarcurator and @cheynman.
PHOTO/EFFECTS BY TOM CHEYNEY
Tags: BOS / balance of systems, commercial/industrial-scale solar, crystalline silicon, distributed generation, EPC / engineering, financing, grid parity, inverters, LCOE / levelized cost of energy, market research, performance and reliability, policy, polysilicon/wafers, procurement & construction, project development, PV / photovoltaics, smart grid, solar cells, solar energy, solar modules, solar power, solar production, standards, testing, thin film photovoltaics, utility-scale solar