U.S. Energy Department makes a $25 million statement on solar energy

Solar panel installation

DOE is invests in grid modernization

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) made it clear this week that it is serious about modernizing the nation’s power grid.

The DOE announced a $25 million investment that is aimed directly at one specific goal — accelerating the integration of solar energy into the U.S. power grid. The $25 million in funding will surface through an initiative known as Enabling Extreme Real-Time Grid Integration of Solar Energy (ENERGISE).

ENERGISE is not only a great acronym — it’s an innovative program that facilitates development and distribution of software and hardware platforms that work to modernize the grid. The initiative will fund development of technologies that aim to integrate distributed generation sources like rooftop solar power directly into the grid as one component of a multi-sourced and adaptive energy grid. The grid of the future is one that mixes renewable sources like solar with other, more traditional sources.

Supporting both short-term and long term-projects

ENERGISE is separated into two main topic areas — near-term projects and long-term projects. While the short-term projects will focus on quick integration of solar into the electric grid, the long-term projects will focus on more advanced infrastructure that enables full integration of solar energy.

According to the DOE, near-term projects work to integrate new technology with existing grid infrastructure with a goal to enable the addition of solar at 50 percent of the peak distribution load by the year 2020.

Long-term projects will work to bring highly scalable technologies that can work with more advanced grid infrastructure with a much more aggressive goal to enable solar at 100 percent of the peak distribution load by 2030.

“Our ongoing grid modernization work will help accelerate the widespread adoption of the clean energy resources that will define our low-carbon future. This funding will help that mission by supporting industry partners working to integrate, store, and deploy solar energy throughout our electric grid. In doing so, we hope to drive down costs and encourage even more American homeowners and businesses to install solar systems.” — Lynn Orr, Energy Department Under Secretary for Science and Energy

Source → U.S. Department of Energy