$2 million grant awarded to develop PV-integrated storage solutions

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According to a statement released by project leader, Satcon, the grant has been awarded under the Energy Commission’s wider initiative – the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Renewable Program – aimed at developing solutions to facilitate increased penetration of renewable energies into the energy grid.

The U.S.-based company explained that the team aims to develop "PV integrated electric energy storage systems capable of voltage and frequency support, PV firming, real power dispatch and ramp rate control." The solutions will be worked on at SMUD’s corporate headquarters in Sacramento, California.

Specifically, while Satcon will provide its expertise on the photovoltaic inverter technology side, A123 will offer up its "advanced" lithium ion battery technology. Satcon added that the final system will comprise a 500 kW photovoltaic array, its 500 kW PowerGate Plus utility-ready inverter solution and a 500 kWh advanced lithium ion battery energy storage system from A123.

The energy storage system is expected to "leverage a high power, high voltage version of Satcon’s battery power conditioning system (Satcon Spectrum PCS) featuring Satcon’s EDGE Adaptive Control Architecture (EDGE ACA) to enable voltage stabilization, frequency control and continuous operation of the PV plant in the event of major grid instabilities including faults."

"One of SMUD’s key challenges is to ensure that the grid is able to serve loads at all times while accommodating higher levels of renewable energy integration. Addressing key issues, such as ensuring a stable power flow into the grid from renewable sources, is critical to the success of using renewables as a major energy supplier," stated Mark Rawson of SMUD.

Satcon CTO, Leo Casey, added, "As we seek to integrate renewable energy sources into the grid, improved controls and energy storage systems to reduce power output fluctuations become critical. These capabilities have been developed and deployed across multiple projects over the past four years, including commercial PV and energy storage integration projects and the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) development and demonstration project funded by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The Energy Commission project enables us to accelerate the development and deployment of the next generation of controls and energy storage technologies that are central to tomorrow’s power grid."

For more information on photovoltaic storage and grid integration, visit pv magazine’s specially dedicated site.