The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will contribute $50 million in federal funding to nine demonstration projects to modernize the nation's electrical energy grid, with the goal of reducing the peak load electricity demand by 15 percent over five years. The list of demonstration projects are as follows:

1.Allegheny Power will develop the “West Virginia Super Circuit” in conjunction with West Virginia University, North Carolina State Universiy will improve distribution system performance, reliability, and security of electric supply through the integration of distributed resources and advanced technologies.

2. Rocky Mountain Power and P&E AUTOMATION, will demonstrate load reduction through an integrated network of diverse renewable generation technologies and intelligent automation. The project will integrate renewable generation and energy storage resources, including compressed-air generation technology, wind-turbines, heat recovery systems, solar trough booster technology, a steam turbine, and hydro-turbine resources.

3. Chevron Energy Solutions will collaborate with Alameda County, PG&E, the University of Wisconsin, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Energy and Environmental Economics to significantly reduce peak load and measurably improve power reliability at the Santa Rita Jail.

4. The City of Fort Collins, in cooperation with Larimer County, Colorado State University, InteGrid Lab, and others will research, develop, and demonstrate a 3.5 megawatt coordinated and integrated system of Mixed Distributed Resources in Fort Collins to achieve a 20-30 percent peak load reduction on multiple distribution feeders.

5. Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc., along with Verizon, Innovative Power, Infotility, and Enernex, will develop and demonstrate methodologies to achieve true interoperability between a delivery company and end-use retail electric customers, enhancing the reliability of the distribution grid and the efficiency of its operations.

6. The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and others will work to balance loads with distributed resources, advanced sensing, switching, feeder reconfiguration, and controls. This effort will be replicable at any municipality-sized system.

7. San Diego Gas and Electric will develop a dispatchable distribution feeder for peak load reduction and wind-farming in conjunction Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of San Diego, Motorola, and Lockheed Martin. The project aims to prove the effectiveness of integrating multiple distributed energy resources with advanced controls and communication systems to improve stability and reduce peak loads on feeders/substations.

8. The University of Hawaii, in cooperation with General Electric, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Maui Electric Company, Columbus Electric Cooperative, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Sentech, and UPC Wind, will explore the management of distribution system resources for improved service quality and reliability, transmission congestion relief, and grid support functions.

9. The University of Nevada will partner with Nevada Power Company, and GE Ecomagination to address the construction of energy efficient homes that overcome electricity grid integration, control, and communications issues by building integrated photovoltaic systems, battery energy storage, and consumer products linked to advanced meters that enable and facilitate an efficient response to consumer energy demands.

Department of Energy press release
Photo: johnnyalive
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