Solar Ignite: A Look to the Future

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Solar Ignite: A Look to the Future

What is Solar Ignite?

Our relationship with electricity and our energy system is dramatically evolving as solar, storage, transit, and smart grid technologies become more accessible than ever. We have a huge opportunity to deploy these technologies to build a cleaner, greener, more democratic energy system that benefits everyone.

As part of Solar United Neighbors’ first National Solar Congress, Solar Ignite is a rapid-fire dive into the frontlines of some of the latest technological and policy developments and how communities are using these to create a more democratic, clean, local energy system. Our goal is to help people see real, tangible ways in which these new developments are improving lives – and be inspired to ignite similar projects in their communities.

Solar Congress attendees will be able to vote for their favorite presentation and the winner will receive $5,000 dollars and the honorable mention will receive $1,000.

What is an Ignite Event?

An Ignite event is a series of rapid presentations where presenters get 20 slides which automatically advance every 15 seconds. This presentation method results in a fast, concise, and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes. We’re adapting this model to host six presentations in the first half hour, with a Q&A for all presenters by the audience during the second half.

What topics will be covered?

We want to hear about amazing community projects that give real-world examples of how people all over the country are creating a new energy system. From a neighborhood in Puerto Rico that is adopting solar and batteries to help them better weather hurricanes, to advocates in Boulder who are using new electricity rate structures to drive electric vehicle and solar adoption, to farmers in Pennsylvania that have started farming the sun alongside other crops – we want exciting projects that give people a real sense of what is possible with a new, distributed energy system.

Winning presentations will be those that give a concrete example of a project or program and use it to illustrate a broader concept related to creating a new distributed, clean energy system. For example, we would love presenters with stories to share about communities deploying battery storage, Time of Use and other advanced utility rate structures, resiliency, microgrids, community solar, Power Purchase Agreements, electric vehicles, and more. Anyone from across the country is encouraged to apply to participate and share what is happening in their communities. We are excited to amplify stories that can inspire and ignite others to take on similar work.

What is the Solar Congress?

A Solar Congress is an annual event organized by Solar United Neighbors that brings together solar supporters to learn more about solar and how they can build the solar movement in their own communities. Solar Congresses cover topics from Solar 101, to state specific policies, to electric vehicles and everything in between.

From 2016 to 2019, Solar Congresses have been the keystone event in each of our states. Since 2016, we have had 24 solar congresses with over 3,600 RSVP’s.

For 2020, we are taking our solar congress virtual! We are excited to open up the congress to our national community and encourage everyone who has solar, is interested in going solar, or supportive of solar to attend.

How do you submit for a presentation?

Send us your idea! Send an email to with a short,3-4 sentence paragraph explaining the project or initiative you’d like to highlight. Bonus points for including an image, graphic, or video that helps highlight your work. If you’re selected we will reach out to you and work together to help you develop an awesome Ignite presentation for our national Congress! Submissions are due September 25, 2020.

RSVP for the Solar Congress