The company has said the grant it will enable it to research photovoltaic (PV) energy storage for large commercial applications.
It added that it will partner with three energy storage companies – Ice Energy, Xtreme Power and ZBB Energy – to establish a pilot program for demonstrating the integration of advanced energy storage systems in combination with existing PV systems for commercial customers.
Working with a major retailer, the company plans to demonstrate the economic and operational benefits of combining PV with each of the partners’ storage devices.
"Rooftop solar is affordable today and growing rapidly in cities all across America," said Jim Pape, SunPower president, residential and commercial. "SunPower is excited to work with PG&E, KEMA, Sandia National Laboratories, and our storage partners to evaluate how to make solar power even more valuable during peak energy periods."
According to the company, the CPUC California Solar Initiative (CSI) has a goal to create 1,940 megawatts of new, solar-produced electricity by 2016, moving the state toward a cleaner energy future and helping to lower the cost of solar systems for consumers. The CSI budget is USD$2.2 billion over 10 years, and has five distinct program components.