Solar Power International has announced that the event will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, Oct. 27-29, 2009, to accommodate the event’s rapid growth. Attendance at what was already the industry’s largest solar conference and expo in North America jumped from 12,500 in 2007 to 23,200 in 2008, according to the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the show organizers. The new location will be able to meet the increased demand for hotel accommodations, exhibition and meeting space.
The trade groups originally planned to hold the 6th annual event in San Jose, California. However, due to the growth and anticipated increase in demand due to the extension of the federal investment tax credit in the United States, a larger venue was required to meet the needs of the event exhibitors and attendees in the upcoming year. The exhibit floor is expected to sell out quickly as between 650 and 800 companies from around the world gather to showcase their technology. Overall attendance is expected to top 27,000 in 2009. “Solar Power International is the definitive event for global solar companies doing business in North America. It is our top priority to provide a comprehensive yet accessible program, which serves the needs of an increasingly diverse audience,” said Julia Hamm, conference chair and executive director of SEPA. “As always, proceeds from Solar Power International are used by SEPA and SEIA to support their year round activities to strengthen the U.S. solar market, differentiating it further from many other events.” “The event’s growth has mirrored that of the solar energy industry,” said Rhone Resch, president of SEIA. “Despite a challenging economic climate, we have gained significant momentum in the U.S., especially with the recent eight-year extension of the solar investment tax credit. Also, hopes are that a new administration with a commitment to renewable energy and the environment will enact policies that stimulate domestic solar manufacturing and installation, creating hundreds of thousands of permanent green jobs while increasing our energy independence and security.” Solar Power International 2009 will feature keynote speeches from world and industry leaders and more than 60 breakout sessions. Together the conference program and expo floor encompass the complete range of solar energy technologies, including photovoltaics, concentrating photovoltaics, solar thermal electric, solar hot water, and space heating and cooling. Attendees represent every part of the solar value chain and its customers–including solar industry professionals, utility executives, investors, engineers and policymakers–with an international contingent representing more than 90 countries.