Solectria Renewables bags DOE contract to develop smart-grid PV inverters
Sep 7, 2011 - US photovoltaic (PV) inverter maker Solectria Renewables yesterday said it had won a USD-2.1-million (EUR 1.5m) contract from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop integrated smart-grid ready PV inverters with utility communications.
Under the deal, Solectria will collaborate with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Detroit Edison, National Grid (LON:NG), and Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) to demonstrate smart-grid ready inverters with grid support functionality and communication links between utilities and distributed resources.
EPRI and Solectria Renewables will integrate inverters with distribution management system (DMS) that will enable utilities to communicate different operating modes to avoid operational problems and additional costs and reduce inverter maintenance. Detroit Edison, National Grid and Xcel Energy will provide test sites ranging from 605 kW to 30 MW, each of which will test different aspects of the technologies developed by EPRI and Solectria Renewables.
The contract is part of the DOE's SunShot initiative to speed up the development of low-cost solar technologies.