Although the ultimate fate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative remains unclear under the new Trump administration, the federal solar program continues pushing forward. On Tuesday, the SunShot Initiative announced up to $30 million in funding for 13 projects to support the integration of solar energy into the nation’s electric grid.
“SunShot is working to lower the cost and complexity of integrating solar with the electric grid,” says SunShot Director Charlie Gay. “These projects give grid operators the tools to manage a modern electric grid.”
SunShot selected the 13 projects under the ENERGISE funding program to enable grid operators to access up-to-the-minute measurement and forecasting data from distributed energy sources and optimize system performance using sensor, communication and data analytics technologies. These projects will help to improve the reliability of the nation’s energy grid by providing utilities with dynamic, automated and cost-effective management of solar and other distributed energy sources. These software and hardware solutions will be highly scalable, data-driven, and capable of fully optimizing system operation and planning, according to SunShot.
As part of the Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI), these projects are designed to address not only solar power interconnecting with the grid at scale, but also other technologies like electric vehicles that interconnect with the grid. GMI is an accelerated, DOE-wide effort to develop the concepts, tools, and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future.
The SunShot Initiative, which is managed by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is a collaborative national effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and accelerate solar adoption. In November, SunShot set a new target to cut the cost of solar-generated electricity by 50% between 2020 and 2030.