Enphase Energy Inc. and California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) are launching a pilot program in which the two will integrate and optimize smart micro-inverters used in distributed energy generation.
The program will support PG&E to demonstrate and implement its distributed energy resource management system for real-time data integration and control of distributed energy resources.
Specifically, PG&E will evaluate how smart micro-inverters from Enphase used with customer-sited solar can be controlled and coordinated with grid management and voltage optimization technology. The program goals are to support increased penetration of distributed energy resources and increase overall operational efficiencies of the entire system, says Enphase.
The joint program will focus on targeted circuits in the San Jose and Fresno, Calif., service areas. Eligible PG&E customers on those circuits can participate in the voluntary program and receive equipment from Enphase, as well as program participation incentives. Enphase says it will provide Enphase S-Series micro-inverters, Envoy-S gateways and cloud-based grid optimization services.
The program is funded in part by the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, which enables PG&E to work with the California Energy Commission to develop smart grid technology demonstration and deployment programs. EPIC was created by the California Public Utilities Commission in December 2011 to support investments in clean energy technologies that provide benefits to the electricity ratepayers of PG&E and other investor-owned utilities in California.
“Enphase has already been working with a number of utilities to integrate smart inverters and help transform distributed energy resources into grid assets that will help modernize the grid,” says Raghu Belur, Enphase’s vice president of products and strategic initiatives. “Working with PG&E is an exciting next step. Our smart micro-inverters will provide real-time intelligence from those assets, as well as allow coordinated control to increase grid reliability and ultimately deliver better service to PG&E customers.”