SMUD Awarded US $4M DOE Grant

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) will be awarded US $4.3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to complete the utility’s photovoltaic (PV) and smart grid pilot projects. The primary objective of the 12-month pilot project is to examine how the integration of energy storage can be used to enhance the value of distributed PV resources.

The project is expected to kickoff in the first half of 2010 and will be conducted in Anatolia III, a community within SMUD’s service territory. The community is part of the utility’s SolarSmart HomesSM program and is made up of new, energy-efficient homes with 2-kilowatt (kW) grid-tied, rooftop PV systems installed during construction. Energy storage will be deployed in two configurations.

First, Residential Energy Storage (RES) systems will be connected behind the meter at customer homes and sized to integrate with the home’s PV output and load. Second, Community Energy Storage (CES) systems will be connected to pad-mount transformers on distribution feeders and will be sized to work with the group of homes fed by each transformer.

A control group without energy storage will also be included in the project. Additionally, each of the homes will be part of SMUD’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) rollout. The use of the new meters will allow SMUD to monitor the hourly electricity usage of each volunteer.

The project will also allow monitoring of the PV systems along with the energy storage to give SMUD a better picture of the potential value of distributed energy resources from a utility standpoint and determine how well the storage systems can support SMUD’s super-peak from 4-7 PM.

SMUD will serve as the project lead with GridPoint, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Navigant Consulting rounding out the project team. The entire project is expected to cost $5.9 million.

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