What we learned about Orange Button at SPI

Orange Button Initiative logo
Image by US Department of Energy

If you’ve worked in the solar industry for any amount of time, you’ve heard that soft costs have a negative effect on project development. And you might know soft costs refer to non-hardware-related solar project costs. Things like acquiring new customers and getting approval to connect with the electric grid. Maybe you’ve even heard of the Orange Button Initiative, a new attempt to cut soft costs.

But you almost never hear about the day-to-day headaches that soft costs create for people trying to make solar more cost competitive. That’s what makes our own Michael Penwarden’s coverage of Solar Power International so interesting.

Writing about Orange Button

While marking his first anniversary at Hirsch Media, attending conference sessions, and crisscrossing a 230,000 square feet exhibit hall, Michael also found time to report on the Orange Button Initiative, one of the year’s hottest stories in solar. He didn’t just rewrite a press release or transcribe some interview notes, either.

Michael connected with the people who are making Orange Button an industry standard. Consequently, he learned how investors, financiers, and software developers can add Orange Button into existing workflows. Then he put together a compelling article with fascinating perspective from a Wells Fargo executive who finances solar projects.

After thorough reporting, Michael continued to revise the article based on insightful feedback from K Kaufmann, a communications manager at Smart Electric Power Alliance.

Find the article at SEPAPower.org

Read Michael’s article, Orange Is the New Green (Button), at the SEPA website. Also look out for Solar Industry magazine, which republished the story.

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