SunPower is to receive a grant to the tune of approximately US$1.8 million in a second round of funding by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from the California Solar Initiative Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration (CSI RD&D) program. SunPower is expected to utilize the funds to research photovoltaic energy storage for large commercial applications.
In order to establish a pilot program for demonstrating the integration of advanced energy storage systems with existing PV systems for commercial customers, SunPower will partner with Ice Energy, Xtreme Power and ZBB. The company will also work with an unnamed major retailer to demonstrate the economic and operational benefits of combining PV with each of the partners’ storage devices.
“Rooftop solar is affordable today and growing rapidly in cities all across America,” said Jim Pape, SunPower president of the residential and commercial division. “SunPower is excited to work with PG&E, KEMA, Sandia National Laboratories, and our storage partners to evaluate how to make solar power even more valuable during peak energy periods.”
The CPUC California Solar Initiative (CSI) aims to create 1,940MW of new, solar-produced electricity by 2016 with a budget of US$2.2 billion over 10 years.