Fraunhofer CSE-led team wins Energy Department SHINES award to integrate solar PV, energy storage, and facility load management at utility distribution scale
A Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE)-led team has been selected for a $3.5M Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES) award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The three-year award will be used to design, develop, deploy a fully functional and integrated photovoltaic (PV), energy storage, and a facility load management system at the utility distribution scale and demonstrate in Massachusetts for at least one year. Fraunhofer CSE, with National Grid and its industry and state government partners, will match the award and put $3.5M towards the project.
Currently, one of the biggest challenges facing utilities is how to integrate large quantities of PV production with the electric grid without compromising power reliability and quality. The Fraunhofer CSE-led project, called “SunDial,” will create a management system to mitigate the intermittency of electricity. SunDial will tightly integrate PV, energy storage, and aggregated facility load management to actively manage net system power flows to and from the feeder – regardless of whether these individual components are co-located at the same site, or distributed at different sites. Working together, these systems will address the two greatest issues currently inhibiting high-penetration of PV on the grid – the intermittency of PV generation and the mismatch between electric loads and electric generation.
“This project builds on Fraunhofer CSE’s work on solar PV, grid integration of renewables, and building load management, including ‘real-world’ integration with utilities, municipalities, and other stakeholders involved in integrating PV and other renewables into the grid,” states Dr. Christian Hoepfner, Center Director of Fraunhofer CSE.
“Energy storage, solar PV, and smart grid technologies experienced incredible growth in 2015 and we expect they will play an increasingly important role in reaching the nation’s climate and clean energy goals in the years ahead,” as stated by Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson in the Department of Energy press release.
The project team, led by Fraunhofer CSE, will create an open-source framework that builds upon existing interoperability data models to facilitate integration among PV plant developers, load aggregators, independent system operators and utilities across a range of use cases and business models.