Solar Data Interoperability Equals Orange Button

Interoperability is the key to the pervasive uses of smart infrastructure by everyone. In order to accelerate the use of solar technology and reduce costs, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) decided earlier this year to fund the creation of a new data standard called Orange Button.

To achieve its vision of Orange Button, the DOE selected the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), kWh Analytics, and the SunSpec Alliance. These organizations will define the way the solar industry establishes and manages data. The goal is a common and standard data taxonomy and logic for the industry to adopt, support, and offer to customers to give them the ability to buy products and services from any vendors and any service providers and have them all work seamlessly with the solar data generated by the installed customer solution.

According to its website, “Orange Button supports the creation and adoption of industry-led open data standards for rapid and seamless data exchange across the solar value chain from origination to decommissioning. Standardizing data allows for a reduction in soft costs—making it easier to share solar data and speed up processes, like financing.” For more information please visit the Orange Button website.

Orange Button aims to simplify and standardize solar data so that federal, state, and local government agencies, customers, utilities, lenders, solar vendors, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders can exchange quality data easily and frequently.

It is important to understand that access to high-quality data impacts by more than 50 percent the total cost of ownership of a residential solar PV system during its useful life. Therefore, by creating solar data standards, open marketplaces, and tools for accessing data by all stakeholders, Orange Button aims to reduce transaction inefficiencies and improve market transparency in a self-sustaining manner.

Orange Button will require a collaborative effort from a vast collection of industry players, including developers of solar generation, inverter and grid-integration technologies, software developers, utilities, and new solar service providers, as well as insurance, lending, and real estate companies.

Orange Button surely makes a lot of sense and promises to deliver true data interoperability and cheaper costs. More importantly, common data access and use should mean more energy IoT solutions to pick from more vendors at better prices. This is the benefit that I truly like the most. Fast-forward a year from now and imagine Intel® technology in as many devices to help solutions gain mass adoption. We surely hope that Orange Button is a success.

What do you think? Are you aware of Orange Button? Are you using it already? Can you share your thoughts?

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