The US Department of Energy’s Sunshot initiative has announced US$15 million in funding to aid the integration of solar into the electrical grid infrastructure using energy storage systems.
The DoE put out a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of the new scheme, Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINE), on Thursday. The department stated that SHINE is actively looking for projects “enabling the development and demonstration of integrated, scalable, and cost-effective technologies for solar that incorporate energy storage and work seamlessly to meet both consumer needs and the needs of the electricity grid.”
The emphasis appears very much to be on distributed, ‘on-site’ solar, rather than centralised generation from utility-scale plants. The idea is that inexpensive and flexible distributed generation from PV could be deployed more widely and integrated more readily into the grid using suitable storage projects.
The US regions of California, Hawaii and New York lead the country on energy storage at present, both in terms of deployment and policy, making them by definition among the global leaders. Earlier this week, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that nine companies will receive up to US$250,000 each to fund “bench-to-prototype” funding to move closer to commercialisation from the research stage.
In addition to already existing schemes to support storage in other countries including Germany, recent weeks have seen funding and storage policy announcements from governments including India and Singapore.
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