WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it plans to invest up to $24 million over a number of years to develop products that connect solar power systems with the electrical grid in an interactive way. DOE has selected 12 industry teams that will receive $2.9 million in current fiscal year funding to develop conceptual designs and market analyses for such Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) projects.
The projects will focus on solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and will involve such efforts as developing systems that can communicate with an interactive utility grid and advanced power meters to respond to power price changes over the course of a day, systems that can work with energy storage devices and smart appliances to respond to utility price signals, and systems that can interact with building energy management systems.
The goal is to maximize the value of PV systems and offer consumers greater control over their electric consumption and costs. In the future, and subject to congressional appropriations, additional funding will be provided for the projects that achieve the most promising technological advancements while demonstrating a high likelihood of commercial success. The SEGIS projects are part of the Solar America Initiative (SAI), which aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015.