Energy and Resource Efficiency − Efficient. Environmentally Friendly. Sustainable

How to Turn Solar Power On (and Off)

© Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative

Two of the greatest challenges to widespread use of solar electric energy are the variability and uncertainty of the solar resource. Large quantities of solar photovoltaic (PV) produc­tion need to be integrated with the electric grid without compromising power reliability and quality. Fraunhofer CSE leads one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SHINES Program awards for a three-year $3.5M research project that addresses these challenges. The project team is working together to design, develop, and deploy a sustainable and holistic system for integration of solar PV, battery energy storage, and facility load management at the utility distribution scale in Massachusetts.

At the heart of the developed system is a Global Scheduler, “SunDial”, that tightly integrates control of PV, energy stor­age, and aggregated facility loads. SunDial will actively manage and optimize 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. System design, development and implementation will culminate in a year-long field demonstration in Massachusetts. The project team includes Fraunhofer CSE, National Grid and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).