Best of RE+ 2022 (lighter side edition)

jigawatt video game

The clean energy hordes invaded Anaheim after a few years away, rubbing shoulders, bumping fists, and clinking glasses. Growing solar and storage and EV charging and grid services and so on and so on is serious work, but play was just as important to reinvigorate our stressed out solar-plus souls. Here are a few highlights from the light side.

Best name | VelociWrapper. Come on, who doesn’t love a good dinosaur-focused pun? Bonus: It makes keeping those triplex wire bundles all neat without zipties.

Best booth prop | EV charging was everywhere on the show floor, but never as boldly as in Solar4America’s booth. They snagged a fugly-but-impressive Edison Future pickup truck with its retractable solar cover. The head-turning concept vehicle made its debut in the LA Auto Show last year and won’t hit the market until 2025. It took up the lion’s share of its booth space but was a great conversation starter.

Best booth art | This one’s a toss up. The sophisticated art lover might give Nextracker’s tubular art and holey screens first place, but anyone who’s ever wished they were a superhero would rather have Jigawatt’s graphic novel-inspired backdrop in their tv room (featured at the top). The company itself offers a software suite to generate, manage, quote and convert quality leads.

Best rebrand | Farewell, CED Greentech. Hello, Greentech Renewables. Like a coming-of-age movie, the distributor ditched its awkward look and emerged at the RE+ prom looking all grown up in a blue-green ombre logo.

Best rebrand, runner up | Finally, after years of trying to wean the industry from saying SPI, SETS seems to have hit a winner with RE+. Shorter and more memorable than previous attempts, even old-timers who’ve stubbornly stuck to SPI were heard saying RE+ by the end. Perhaps next year it won’t need to be surrounded by acronyms of the various events it absorbed.

Best sugar rush | The party planners at Shoals outdid themselves with an upstairs lounge so sugar-loaded that there should have been a warning from the American Diabetes Association. The had something for every sweet tooth: retro sugar with Pop Rocks and candy rings, colorful sugar with platters of macaroons and cupcakes, and hot-and-cold sugar with melty off the skillet chocolate chip cookies topped with chilly ice cream. Researching this category was a sacrifice this energy writer made in the name of journalistic accuracy. You’re welcome.

[Editor’s Note: Best after hours party we snuck into is a tie between OMCO Solar and EagleView Technologies.]

Dej Knuckey is a contributor to Solar Builder and a former journalist, author and freelance writer who has covered energy for publications in Australia and the U.S.

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