Watch the recorded livestream of this event below.

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In President Obama’s State of the Union address in January, he noted that “Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel [is] pounded into place by a worker whose job can't be outsourced.”

That figure, which came from GTM Research, is good news for clean energy and green jobs advocates, but it is also an increasing challenge to the existing electric grid and the business model that sustains it.

The challenges are playing out across the nation and the globe as utilities contend with net metering and begin to invest more in distribution automation as certain parts of the distribution network have to manage far more variability from rooftop solar photovoltaics than they ever had before.

To discuss the challenges and promise of distributed PV for the power system, Greentech Media, Solar 1 and NYC ACRE will host the first event of the Clean Energy Connections series for 2014, The Expansion of Distributed PV in the Age of the Grid Edge, on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in New York City.

The theme of this year’s panels is the grid edge, which GTM sees as the setting for the imminent transformation of the electric grid. As new distributed energy generation collides with existing business and regulatory models in the power sector, a stable transition to a next-generation electricity system depends on harmonizing grid modernization and customer evolution.

GTM Research has found that more distributed solar has been deployed in the past 2.5 years than in the 50 years prior, and there will be another doubling of capacity over the next 2.5 years.

That growth is driven by falling costs for solar PV coupled with new financing models. To discuss the current trends and what they mean for utilities, customers and the solar industry, Ben Kellison, smart grid senior analyst for GTM Research, will be joined onstage by Margarett Jolly, Director of Research & Development at Consolidated Edison; Shaun Chapman, Director of Policy and Electricity at SolarCity; Stacey Hughes, Chief Marketing Officer at Sunlight General Capital; and Naimish Patel, CEO of Gridco Systems.

Solar PV is just one of the technology disruptions that is happening at the edge of the electric grid. Smart digital electric meters are also delivering new streams of data to utilities, which must find a way to store it, secure it and leverage it for operations and consumer benefits.

All types of buildings, from skyscrapers to individual homes, are becoming smarter and more automated, increasing the opportunities for buildings to interact with the grid in demand-side management programs.

Energystorage in the form of both grid-scale and smaller behind-the-meter systems, is increasingly being deployed, even though cost remains an issue. More storage offers many benefits for the grid, as well as posing challenges for utilities that could see their customer base shrink further. 

The event about the effects of solar PV on the grid is open to the public. General admission is $25, and student admission is $10. Advance registration is required at www.cleanecnyc.org. If you cannot join the discussion in person, Greentech Media will stream the event live at www.greentechmedia.com and questions can be submitted via Twitter @CleanECNYC with hashtag #CleanNRGx.

And if you can’t make the first Clean Energy Connections event on March 4, check out the rest of the schedule for 2014.

Watch the recorded livestream of the event here:

Tweet questions @CleanECnyc with #CleanNRGx