This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 05, 2009

DOE Awards $11.8 Million for New Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems

DOE awarded $11.8 million on July 29 to five projects designed to advance the next stage of development of solar energy grid integration systems (SEGIS). Located in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, and Oregon, the five projects are part of DOE's continuing work to help assure the nation's electrical grid reliability is maintained and improved as solar energy technologies reach cost competitiveness and are increasingly integrated with the grid. Of the total funds, some $5 million came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Initiated in 2008, the SEGIS activity is a partnership that includes DOE, Sandia National Laboratories, industry, utilities, and universities and emphasizes the development of complete systems for integrating solar power with the electrical grid. The selected projects focus on grid interconnections that will work optimally with the full range of emerging solar modules, achieve reliability and resiliency, reduce costs, integrate controls for energy storage systems (such as batteries), and allow two-way "smart" communications between the solar power systems and the electric utilities. Awardees include Apollo Solar, the Florida Solar Energy Center, Petra Solar, Princeton Power, and PVPowered. The projects ultimately seek to maintain or improve power quality and reliability, as well as return economic value, while increasing the integration of solar technologies into the U.S. electrical grid. See the DOE press release.

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