Wanting Again At altE’s ninth Annual Solar Installer Convention


Solar installers and suppliers from all over the world gathered at AltEs 9th annual solar conference February 24thth until 26th, at the Devens Common Center in Devens, MA. The solar conference consisted of three days of learning, networking, and earning value NABCEP training credits for our installer customers.

Training sessions

Before the actual conference, we had a day of five-hour training. Our own Nate Dooley and Garrett McCutcheon taught “Introduction to Solar Grid Tethering and Battery Backup” in a crowded room and at a great reception. The productive and very experienced Dr. Sean White also returned teaching the advanced track “PV And The 2020 NEC” for six NABCEP Continuing Education Credits

Over 30 breakout training seasons for installers were carried out on the two conference days, comprising a total of 14 hours of NABCEP training points. The sessions were organized by field experts with topics ranging from comparative energy storage / battery chemistry to grid connection systems with battery support and installation alternatives for solar systems.


More than 20 industry-leading manufacturers lined the exhibition and trade fair area. The exhibitors and sponsors included manufacturers of solar modules, grid-connected and grid-independent inverters, solar module shelves, charge controllers, housings and data acquisition devices.

  • Schneider Electric offered a two-part session that discussed the expanded functionality of the Conext XW Pro inverter / charger as per Rule 21, as well as its use in on-grid solar systems for residential batteries.
  • KiloVault unveiled and showcased advanced pure lead carbon at the SPS Battery.
  • Outback Power went through the new UL9540 certification passed in CA which requires a UL stamp for an entire integrated system i.e. inverter, batteries, battery rack. This speeds up project approval and approval and gives customers peace of mind.
  • Blue Sky Energy introduced its new Bluetooth accessory and mobile app for monitoring and data collection with multiple controllers.
  • Tamarack Solar presented a new solar shelving system for flush mounting that is easy to install, offers excellent cable management and provides everything the installer needs in a UPS-ready kit!
  • Morningstar announced its newest product to be launched this year – the MultiWave high frequency inverter / charger, which offers superior charging capabilities, a lighter design for easier installation, and more agile and efficient electronics.

The big advantage of altE SolarCon compared to the larger conferences is the ratio of exhibitors to participants. Solar exhibitors love the trade fair because they talk personally to the people who actually install their products.


Eric Bentsen from Schneider Eectric, the 2020 Gold Sponsor

Eric Bentsen from Schneider Eectric, the 2020 Gold Sponsor, teaches Gateway & Conext Insight 2 Monitoring Platform.

With valuable technical training and the opportunity to network with manufacturers, employees of altE and other solar experts, altE SolarCon was the right place for installers. Solar installers and dealers love the show because they have time to ask the unusual questions to people who know the products inside out.

With every conference there are new breakout sessions, providers and technologies, but no new costs for attending the educational workshops. In this rapidly changing world, the altE Solar Installer Conference gives attendees a few days in the middle of winter to stop and look around to see what is available to improve their business in the spring.

In practical training courses, installers and dealers can receive time-saving tips for installing, repairing and maintaining a solar system. By meeting and networking with local installers, they can raise issues they encounter in their area and address them together.

ConnectedSolutions Controversy

In this year’s “Keynote Address” a program manager of National Grid Utility explained the ConnectedSolutions request a response program, Part of M.ass Save Initiative. Within ConnectedSolutions he focused on that Daily shipping battery Program.

February 12th the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) approved the recommendation to proceed and the program will go to the state’s DPU. The Daily Dispatch Battery program has been criticized for only offering pay-for-performance paths for five of the largest national battery and inverter companies. While other “battery implementers” may be allowed in the future, many other solar manufacturers, distributors and local installers see it as unfair to give these national companies a month-long head start.

The National Grid Manager was thorough in his presentation and receptive to audience feedback. Many in our community took this opportunity to be heard and contributed to the way the program is organized.

Wrap up

The 2020 AltE Solar Installer Conference couldn’t have been the successful event that it would have been without all of our sponsors, exhibitors and participants! Our thanks go to everyone involved. We at altE are already looking forward to 2021 and the 10th annual solar conference. I hope to see you there!

2020 Gold Sponsor

2020 silver sponsors

2020 exhibitor

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