Leveraging past work enables DOE to save time and money. For example, one Recipient used data collected from a previous residential solar photovoltaic (PV) project to advance new efforts to integrate these distributed energy systems into the regional power grid.
This Recipient, a publicly-owned utility company in the Western United States, is using Recovery Act funds to determine the best configuration for integrating small PV systems into the power grid, including an analysis of storage and transmission needs. Two types of configurations are being tested, using a select group of residential customers with grid-connected solar PV systems. The project involves collaboration with a half dozen other entities, including companies in the construction, engineering, and solar power industries.
The Recipient was able to quickly identify participants in the pilot by using data collected as part of an earlier DOE-funded project. During the first project, the Recipient and its partner developed a monitoring system to collect information on the characteristics and performance of residential solar PV systems in the target community.
While the technical goal of this project is to seamlessly integrate multiple residential PV systems into the power grid, it is also a model for building upon past successes to create new opportunities for technology deployment.