XBRL US announced recently that it is part of a SunSpec Alliance project team establishing the open Solar Data eXchangeo make it easier to aggregate and share solar data, thereby facilitating more efficient and cost-effective financing of distributed energy projects. The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative’s Orange Button program that aims to set data standards for the solar industry. Growth in the solar market necessitates the streamlining of the collection, management and exchange of solar datasets to protect consumers, increase efficient pricing and support new and existing business in the solar marketplace.
The XBRL data standard is uniquely suited to transport financial datasets that are needed to communicate distributed solar financial disclosures. XBRL US was responsible for building standard data taxonomies for U.S. GAAP reporting by public companies, as well as reporting by mutual funds and credit rating agencies under contract with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and has also built industry-driven taxonomies for data collection in surety bond underwriting and corporate action events. As part of the SunSpec Alliance project team, XBRL US will be tasked with leading a working group to build out the solar energy taxonomy, leveraging elements from the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy and from existing data standards in the solar industry.
“Data standards increase efficiency, reduce costs and delays in financing of all types,” said Campbell Pryde, President and CEO, XBRL US, “The Department of Energy and the solar industry recognize the benefits that data standards can bring and we look forward to collaborating on a comprehensive plan for standards in this rapidly growing industry.” “We are pleased to work with XBRL US on this important program,” added Thomas Tansy, Chairman of the SunSpec Alliance. “XBRL’s expertise in financial data reporting is unparalleled in industry generally. Their participation in this initiative is a strong signal that solar has joined the mainstream of finance.”
To build out the financial terms needed for the taxonomy, XBRL US has invited representatives from solar financing, insurance, surety, accounting and software to participate in the working group, including Wells Fargo. “Solar origination and portfolio management requires significant amounts of data collection from multiple sources which today is largely a manual process,” said Jon Previtali, Vice President of Wells Fargo Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance. “Computer-readable data standards can automate much of that process, improving the timeliness and efficiency of that process.”
“Working with XBRL allows us to align the information the financial markets need with insurance and surety markets,” said K. Dixon Wright, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Insurance Services. “This will expand the value to significantly more stakeholders throughout the life cycle of the solar project.”