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DOE Announces $8.5 Million for Solar Energy Grid Integration
DOE announced on September 7 that DOE's Sandia National Laboratories is investing $8.5 million in four projects that have reached Stage III of the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) program. SEGIS contractors will match these investments by more than one-to-one to support a total of more than $20 million in projects. The selections are part of DOE's ongoing work to improve electrical grid reliability as cost-competitive solar energy technologies contribute increasing amounts of photovoltaic (PV) solar electricity flow into the U.S. electrical grid. The awards follow the first two SEGIS stages, and awardees were selected for having the highest likelihood of commercialization.
The projects cover a range of strategies. The Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida will focus on a larger shared inverter serving multiple residential or commercial PV systems. The Florida 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 of South Plainfield, New Jersey, will partner with utilities in Florida, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. to boost system reliability and safety with low cost modular inverters. Also in New Jersey, Princeton Power will lead a project to complete a design for a 100-kilowatt demand response inverter based on Princeton's unique circuit designs and the use of new state-of-the-art components. And in Oregon, PV Powered will spearhead an effort that includes partners in South Dakota, Washington, and Oregon to further next-generation controls and advanced communications technologies that enable distributed PV systems to communicate with power utilities. See the DOE press release and the SEGIS Web site.