EERE-Funded Project Aims to Stabilize the Energy Grid

Project Overview
Positive Impact: New technologies to stabilize the energy grid.
AE Solar Energy is using EERE funds to commercialize grid-stabilizing technologies.
Locations: Oregon
Partners: AE Solar Energy
EERE Investment: $3.1 million
Clean Energy Sector: Renewable electricity generationPDF

With EERE support, AE Solar Energy is demonstrating and commercializing a set of new technologies that can increase the stability, reliability, and functionality of the electricity grid—improvements that are becoming more essential as more solar energy systems come online. The company's projects include the following:

  • Creating a method to reliably detect a loss of connection to the utility without "false trips"—unexpected and unnecessary disconnections from the grid due to fluctuations in output
  • Utilizing advanced photovoltaic (PV) control systems to ensure that deploying high amounts of PV does not cause excessive power losses in electric distribution circuits or cause adverse interactions with utility voltage regulation equipment
  • Adding energy storage to PV installations to smooth output fluctuations caused by passing clouds, relieving stress on other generation sources that may need to compensate for those fluctuations.
These capabilities are all designed to help utilities view PV as an asset to their electrical grid, to significantly reduce high-penetration PV costs, and to increase the amount of PV power that can be used on the nation's grids.

The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) focuses on achieving the goals of the SunShot Initiative, which seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade.

Learn more about this topic: