Supporting the goals of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department today announced $15 million in available funding to help integrate distributed, on-site solar energy systems into the nation’s electrical grid. With more solar power installed in the United States in the last 18 months than in 30 years prior, solar is shattering records. Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar power installed in the U.S. has increased more than thirteen fold – from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 to an estimated 15.9 GW today – enough to power the equivalent of 3.2 million average American homes. As more solar comes online, the Energy Department is working to address the challenges of solar power, such as the variability of available sunshine during the day, and developing solutions to better integrate solar photovoltaics (PV) with electric power systems throughout the grid.
To further spur widespread deployment of safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar energy for all Americans, this funding is specifically aimed at supporting projects that enable low-cost, flexible and reliable solutions that successfully integrate solar PV power plants and energy storage. The funding opportunity will tackle the challenge of creating cost-effective and reliable distributed PV and energy storage solutions to help overcome the challenges associated with increased amounts of renewables. Eligible projects include solutions that will help revolutionize distributed PV and energy storage through:
Advanced operation in conjunction with smart loads and demand response,
Incorporation of solar and load forecasting,
Innovative uses of smart components and functionalities, and
Easily interoperable hardware, software and firmware technologies.