9 February 2017 2017 12:15 PM GMT

US: Smart Electricity And Grid Join Forces With SEPA, SGIP Merger Announcement

Julia Hamm, CEO and President of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), and Sharon Allan, CEO and President of SGIP, will kick off DistribuTECH 2017 in San Diego with an announcement of the intent to merge the two organisations under the SEPA brand and organisational umbrella. Speaking at a breakfast briefing, Hamm and Allan said that given the increasing integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) and grid modernization, a merger of SGIP and SEPA just makes sense. A smart transition to a clean energy future is driving changes to business and regulatory models plus improved customer engagement, the particular areas of expertise for SEPA. It also means enhanced planning and grid operations plus technological advancement, the corresponding areas of expertise for SGIP.

“Within SEPA’s mission of facilitating the electric power sector’s smart transition to clean energy future, integrating SGIP’s technical knowledge is another way to serve our members. As a result of the merger, we are excited to add as many as 100 new member organisations to our existing base of 1,000 members, including utilities, private sector corporations and government agencies,” Hamm said. “Moreover, the combination of SEPA’s and SGIP’s resources and expertise will accelerate grid modernization efforts and have an even greater impact on the industry.”

Allan also stressed that “SGIP’s focus areas of DER management, the energy Internet of Things, cyber security, standards and solar data exchange will continue to be a priority under the SEPA umbrella. Plus, a merger with SEPA will provide members with a much broader network of experts to collaborate and consult with on their grid modernization and DER questions and efforts.”

SEPA and SGIP share the same vision for the future of the energy sector. SEPA’s focus on market research, conferences and events, and advisory services — combined with SGIP’s technical depth — will enable greater cross-fertilization of ideas and initiatives in the industry dealing with business and technical issues, and market and regulatory concerns.

The merger has been approved by the boards of both organisations and now goes to the full SGIP membership for a vote. If approved by SGIP’s members, the merger could be legally finalised in the late first or early second quarter of 2017. However, to ensure the continued, orderly operations of the two organisations, the integration will be phased in during the remainder of the year. All of SGIP’s staff will transition to positions at SEPA and will continue to focus their work on programs originated at SGIP.

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the utility industry’s transition to a clean energy future through education, research and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is the founder and co-sponsor of Solar Power International and winner of the Keystone Policy Center’s 2016 Leadership in Energy Award.

SGIP is an industry consortium representing a cross-section of the energy ecosystem focusing on accelerating grid modernization and the energy Internet of Things through policy, education, and promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a sustainable energy future. Its members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers and universities. As a nonprofit organisation, it attempts to drive change through a consensus process.

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