Solar International Conference and Expo

The Solar Power International Conference and Expo takes place in October at the San Diego Convention Center. Residential Design & Build spoke with Julie Hamm, executive director of Solar Electric Power Association and the chair of Solar Power International for a Q&A about the show and how it relates to the residential housing market.

RD&B: Why should a residential architect or builder attend the show?
Julie Hamm: Solar Power International is the ideal place for residential builders and architects to learn about all of the new aesthetically appealing and reliable solar technologies that have become available in the marketplace recently. With more than 420 vendors at the show, builders and architects have the opportunity to meet potential suppliers and partners to help grow the green aspects of their business.

RD&B: How strong is the residential focus?
JH: The focus of Solar Power International is split approximately equally between residential, commercial and utility-scale solar.

RD&B: Explain the home tour that takes place during the show.
JH: The San Diego Solar Homes Tour is celebrating its ninth year, with over 40 participating homes throughout San Diego County. This self-guided tour offers real-life, working examples of three residential solar energy technologies: solar electric (photovoltaics), solar water heating and solar pool heating.

No registration is necessary to participate in the tour.

Solar Homes Tour
Saturday, October 18th
10:00am to 3:00pm

RD&B: Who is the keynote speaker?
JH: Solar Power International features four keynote speakers -- two on Tuesday and two on Thursday -- as well as two high profile CEO panels on Wednesday. The Keynotes on Tuesday are Robert Greifeld, CEO, The NASDAQ OMX Group, and Wesley Clark, former NATO Allied Supreme Commander Europe. The keynotes on Thursday are Rick Andreen, Shea Homes' Active Lifestyle Communities, and Senator of Washington, Senator Maria Cantwell.

RD&B: What are some returning successful features of the show?
JH: There are 60-plus conference sessions and workshops to choose from. Sessions on topics in the categories of technology, policy, finance and markets provide an excellent overview of what is happening in the solar arena.

RD&B: How can attendees find the best products/products of interest that are featured at the show?
JH: A new online registration function allows attendees to filter and sort through exhibitors and session content to create customized personal floor plans and itineraries. Visit for more information.

RD&B: Are there any networking events that residential architects/builders should attend?
JH: The Solar Power Block Party will be held on the evening of Tuesday, October 14 in the Gaslamp District of San Diego. This is an excellent opportunity for people with a professional interest in solar energy to network with those in the field.

RD&B: What are the show days, times, location?
JH: Monday, Oct. 13-Oct. 17
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA

RD&B: Where can readers get more information?