Department Of Energy Funds Solar Grid Integration Projects

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the Department of Energy's (DOE) Sandia National Laboratories is investing $8.5 million for four projects that have reached Stage III of the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) program. These investments will be matched more than one-to-one by the SEGIS contractors to support more than $20 million in total projects.

Initiated in 2008, the SEGIS program is a partnership that includes DOE, Sandia National Laboratories, industry, utilities and universities.

The following projects were chosen as SEGIS Stage III selections:

– Florida Solar Energy Center of the University of Central Florida – Cocoa, Fla. – $660,329: The Florida Solar Energy Center is partnering with Satcon Technology Corp., SENTECH Inc., SunEdison, Cooper Power Systems EAS, Northern Plains Power Technologies and Lakeland Electric Utilities. This project focuses on the implementation of a larger shared inverter serving multiple residential or commercial PV systems. The demonstration will feature a suite of new functionalities, such as smart grid power controls, continued operation in the events of voltage and frequency disturbances, and improved safety of PV systems.

– Petra Solar South – Plainfield, N.J. – $2,729,712: Petra Solar is partnering with the University of Central Florida, Public Service Electric & Gas, PEPCO Holdings and BP Solar. This project addresses utility-grid interactivity, system reliability and safety through low-cost, easy-to-install modular inverters. The Stage III work expands the micro-inverter system concept to higher voltage operations to reduce costs and expand utility-friendly functionalities.

– Princeton Power – Princeton, N.J. – $2,729,897: Princeton Power is partnering with First Energy Corp., the Center for Power Electronics Systems, International Battery Inc., Tectonic Corp. and Process Automation Corp. This project will address finishing details to complete a design for a 100 kW demand-response inverter based on Princeton's circuit designs. Demonstration installations with utility collaborations are planned during Stage III and will be announced once details are available.

– PVPowered – Bend, Ore. – $2,408,276: PV Powered is partnering with Portland General Electric, Northern Plains Power Technologies and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. This project focuses on several key developments in Stage III, including next-generation controls and advanced communications technologies that enable distributed PV systems to communicate with power utilities. These innovations are designed to allow utilities to manage networks of distributed power sources, reduce PV systems costs and remove barriers to high levels of PV grid penetration.

SOURCE: U.S. Department Of Energy

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