The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference presents data, analysis and expert forecasting on the state of the solar market in the U.S. This is the only event exclusively underpinned by the Solar Market Insight report series produced by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Now in its fourth year, this two-day conference is essential for anyone involved, or looking to get involved, in the U.S. solar industry. Based on over five years of analysis of installation data, the event dissects cost trends, discusses the future of project finance and business models, and examines the potential of individual states and market segments.

GTM Research and SEIA will bring together industry leaders to help attendees navigate complex market dynamics and local policies to reduce installation costs, acquire customers, and increase project returns. Make deals by connecting with fellow attendees including leading financiers, policy makers, developers and technology manufacturers.

Event Partner:



Bill Walton
NBA Hall of Fame Inductee and Solar Advocate, NRG Home Solar

Bill Walton is a 2-time NBA Champion, 2-time NBA All Star, and NBA Hall of Fame inductee. He has been named as one of the 50 Greatest NBA players of all time. More recently, Walton has worked as a successful NBA commentator for ABC, NBC and ESPN. He has been named one of the top 50 sports broadcasters of all time by the American Sportscasters Association. Today, Walton is also the voice for NRG Home Solar, one of the country’s leading residential solar providers. Walton currently resides in his hometown of San Diego with his wife Lori. @NRGHomeSolar  http://www.nrghomesolar.com

James Avery
Senior Vice President of Power Supply , San Diego Gas & Electric

As senior vice president of power supply, Avery oversees the company’s generation, system planning, project development and electric procurement business unit operations. Avery also is responsible for the company’s smart grid policies and initiatives.

Prior to joining SDG&E, Avery was a consultant with R.J. Rudden Associates, one of the nation’s leading management and economic consulting firms specializing in energy and utility matters.  Avery has extensive experience in utility operations and management.  He was the chief executive officer of the electric and gas operations at Citizens Utilities Company, a multi-service organization that provided electric, gas, telecom, water and wastewater services in 21 states across the nation.  He also held various positions at American Electric Power.

Avery is a senior member of the Association of Energy Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and American Mensa. He has previously served on the board of directors of the California Power Exchange, Vermont Electric Power Company and R.J. Rudden Associates.

Avery is a graduate of the executive management program at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. and holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Manhattan College, N.Y. He is an expert in energy markets, electric production, transmission and distribution operations.

Zeina El-Azzi
Vice President Business Development, North America, SunEdison

Zeina has fourteen years of renewable energy experience in development, origination and acquisitions. Currently, she is responsible for SunEdison’s North American business development team, leading acquisitions and joint venture agreements. Previously, she led an initiative establishing wind energy business development in Eastern Europe, Turkey and Mexico. Zeina graduated with honors from UT Austin with an MA in Energy and Mineral Resources and a BA in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies.  She speaks English, French and Arabic fluently.

Tom Starrs
Vice President, Market Strategy & Policy, SunPower Corp.

Tom Starrs serves as SunPower Corporation’s vice president, market strategy and policy, where he is responsible for the company’s global market assessment, market strategy and public policy initiatives.  He has more than 20 years of experience in and around the solar power industry, including senior management positions with Iberdrola Renewables, PPM Energy, and Schott Solar. Starrs is widely recognized as a leading strategist on solar energy market development, business strategy and policy.  He serves on the boards of the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, the Solar Electric Power Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association.  Tom holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley's Energy and Resources Program, and a J.D. from the University of California Berkeley’s School of Law.

Katherine Hamilton
Principal, 38 North Solutions

Katherine Hamilton was the first full time president of the GridWise Alliance, serving from 2008 until 2011, overseeing a more than doubling in size and budget of the organization. Prior to joining the GridWise Alliance, Hamilton was policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a current portfolio in clean energy technologies of more than $6 Billion. Previously, Hamilton co-directed of the American Bioenergy Association, where she worked with entrepreneurs, universities and utilities developing biomass technologies. As President of her company, The Hamilton Group, she worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, Midwest Research Institute and other organizations to lobby Congress and statehouses, including Maryland, on various clean energy policies and funding. Prior to that, Hamilton worked for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to put into place several programs mandated in the Energy Policy Act of 1992, including federal energy audit and water conservation programs. Hamilton also served as NREL’s Manager of Government Relations in the Washington, DC office, becoming an expert witness on renewable energy for the House Committee on Science and serving as an advisor to Vice President Cheney’s Task Force in developing the national energy plan. Hamilton apprenticed as a distribution engineer for Virginia Power (now Dominion Energy) and was a senior analyst in commercial energy efficiency. She has degrees from Cornell University and the University of Paris, Sorbonne.

Michael Picker
President, California Public Utilities Commission

Michael Picker is President at the California Public Utilities Commission. Prior to his recent appointment, Mr. Picker was a Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy in the Office of the Governor starting in 2009 and a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors since 2012. He was a principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009 and a consultant at Kaufman Campaign Consultants from 2000 to 2002. Mr. Picker was deputy treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999 and chief of staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999. He was deputy assistant for toxic substances control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982 and an organizer at the Campaign for Economic Democracy from 1978 to 1982.

Rex Stepp
Leader, APS Renewable Energy Program, Arizona Public Service

Rex Stepp has worked for APS since 2007 and currently leads the team responsible for supporting strategy, compliance and reporting for the APS Renewable Energy Program.  Rex has worked with customers, developers, installers and finance companies as they navigate through the many issues associated with installing renewable energy systems. 

Rex is also part of the adjunct faculty at Scottsdale Community College and has served on the board of the AZ Solar Center, a non-profit educational organization building awareness of renewable energy in Arizona.  He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Biola University and his MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.  He and his wife have lived in Phoenix for 20 years and have 3 sons.

agenda 2014 Conference Themes
  • U.S. Solar in 2015 and Beyond
  • Distributed Generation
  • Utility Solar and Grid Integration
  • Financing Tomorrow's Solar
  • Supplying Tomorrow's Solar
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