Orange Button Initiative Launches

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We announce the launch of the Orange Button initiative, part of the US Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative.

The Orange Button initiative has been designed to simplify and standardize data across the solar project lifecycle, enhance data quality, and make solar transactions more efficient.

“Creating unified data standards will help the solar industry reduce market inefficiencies and lower costs for consumers. Orange Button, originally named Solar Bankability Data to Advance Transactions and Access, targets a reduction in soft costs by streamlining the collection, security, management, exchange, and monetizing of solar datasets across the value chain of solar. Creating an industry-driven standardized data landscape will facilitate the growth and expansion of distributed solar. As the solar market continues to rapidly expand, it’s critical that the collection, management, and exchange of solar datasets – especially those that affect the bankability of solar assets – are coordinated and streamlined to protect consumers, increase efficient pricing, and support new and existing businesses entering the solar marketplace.”


orange-button-graphv2SGIP and partner Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) are organizing a wide array of market participants to drive strategy and to collect business requirements from a variety of perspectives.

“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. Our members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers and universities. A nonprofit organization, we drive change through a consensus process.”

These entities are asking industry leaders to join us in defining the strategy and business requirements to make solar projects more bankable.

To accomplish our team goals, we are forming five Working Groups:

  • Deployment: (including solar asset installers, engineering firms, permitting officials, etc.) Focused on the data needs associated with structural and electrical safety and other permitting concerns. This working group will include building code and safety standards experts, project developers, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Financial: (including banking and specialty finance institutions, solar project developers, asset managers, etc.) Engaged in supporting efficient finance for projects, as well as efficient financial reporting practices during project operation. This working group will examine data practices for tax and accounting systems, streamlining information exchange between banks and developers to assess development risk, and the data exchange environment necessary to conduct effective financial asset management activities.
  • Real Estate: (including professionals experienced in identifying and transacting in real estate for solar projects) Focused on data requirements of the real estate industry (as they are relevant to solar projects) to deploy projects at various types of commercial real estate (e.g., owner-occupation of buildings, types of lease structures held by tenants).
  • Solar O&M: (including project developers, O&M service providers, etc.) Focused on all data requirements behind project operations and maintenance practices and cost models.
  • Grid Integration: (including electric utilities, project developers, ISOs, state regulatory bodies, etc.) Focused on the data needs for utilities, ISOs, and solar developers with regard to new utility-scale and behind-the-meter connections.

SGIP public relations vice president Gabrielle Puccio has said anyone who is interested in joining one of the Orange Button Strategy and Business Requirements working groups listed above can simply register on the SGIP website.


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Glenn Meyers

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

Glenn Meyers has 449 posts and counting. See all posts by Glenn Meyers

3 thoughts on “Orange Button Initiative Launches

  • There’s no mention of environmental issues: visual amenity in suburban neighbourhoods, wildlife conservation for utility farms. These are not trivial and often make the difference between success and failure. They could use common data standards too.

    • Any effort to streamline soft costs gets a huge thumbs-up from at least me. They’re such a huge component now of solar costs and only going up in percentage.

      Agree on your points. There have been spot-solutions, such as, I believe in California, homeowners associations cannot prohibit solar on rooftops as most did in the beginning. And an article just last week about Minnesota, I believe, prohibiting cutting down forests for solar farms. To your point, point solutions to what should be a common set of best practices and guidelines. Having worked to support standards committees and the like, I will say it’s very difficult to herd cats on issues like this, but it’s costly without standards.

    • Key issues you address here.

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