DOE Awards Up To US $11M Million for Solar Grid Integration Systems

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced the investment of up to US $11.8 million, $5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for five projects designed to advance the next stage of development of solar energy grid integration systems (SEGIS).

Initiated in 2008, the SEGIS activity is a partnership that includes DOE, Sandia National Laboratories, industry, utilities, and universities and emphasizes complete system development.  The selected projects focus on the most promising technology advances and include development of intelligent system controls.

These projects ultimately seek to maintain or improve power quality and reliability, as well as return economic value, while increasing integration of solar technologies into the U.S. electrical grid.

The selections announced today include:

PVPowered: PVPowered will partner with Portland General Electric, South Dakota State University, Northern Plains Power Technologies, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Sensus. The project will look to optimize interconnections across the full range of emerging PV module technologies through inverter systems integration.
DOE cost share: up to $3 million

Petra Solar: Petra Solar will work with the University of Central Florida and Fifteen Electric Utilities with service in NJ, PA, OH, DE, MD, DC, FL, TX. This project has the goal of improving reliability and resiliency so that high levels of PV integration can be realized.
DOE cost share: up to $2.9 million

Princeton Power: Princeton Power will work with Transistor Device Inc., LaGuardia Community College, Idyllwild Municipal Water District, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Premier Power, SPG Solar, and Spire Corporation. This project focuses on lowering manufacturing costs through integrated controls for energy storage and develops new inverter designs.
DOE cost share: up to $2.8 million

Apollo Solar: Apollo Solar will work in collaboration with Saft Batteries, the Electric Power Research Institute and California Independent System Operator. This project will develop inverter technology using energy storage and two-way communications between solar electrical systems and utilities.
DOE cost share: up to $1.5 million

Florida Solar Energy Center: Florida Solar Energy Center will work with Satcon Technology Corporation, Sentech Inc., SunEdison, Cooper Power Systems EAS, Northern Plains Power Technologies and Lakeland Electric Utilities.  This project focuses on solving technical challenges that must be overcome to include higher PV penetration levels in larger electrical systems.
DOE cost share: up to $1.3 million

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