With the help of a $4.3 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, Austin Energy and 1Energy Systems will partner to develop and deploy a distributed energy platform that integrates high levels of intermittent solar energy with the steady, reliable power grid. Austin Energy is the nation’s 7th largest public power utility in the country, serving Austin, TX and surrounding areas.
The Austin Energy SHINES (Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV) Project is designed to clear a pathway for utilities to manage energy storage and high concentrations of photo-voltaic solar generation together at low cost. Based on open standards, the innovative project aims to provide a template adaptable to any region and market structure, enabling diverse utilities to maximize the penetration of distributed solar PV while maintaining reliability and power quality.
Over the course of this three-year and three-month project, Austin Energy and partners will integrate up to four megawatts (MW) of solar, more than three MW of distributed energy storage, smart inverters, forecasting tools, market signals, and advanced communications, all under a software optimization platform, using customer and utility locations and multiple aggregation models. A key project invention will be the creation and use of a new cost metric that reflects the all-in costs of serving customer load with a combination of solar, energy storage, demand response, and existing grid assets. The project goals is to keep this all-in cost of energy measure below 14 cents per kilowatt hour at increasing levels of solar penetration on a utility circuit.
As integration partner for the project, 1Energy will provide power system engineering services and control software, including:
- Design of advanced algorithms and detailed communications for integrating MW-scale ESSs and other distributed energy resources.
- The 1Energy Intelligent Controller™ (1E-IC™) for monitoring and control of ESS components, and the1Energy Distributed Energy Resource Optimizer™ (1E-DERO™) as the project’s Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS). This project represents our second customer for the 1E-DERO™, broadening its capabilities from storage and demand response optimization up at Snohomish PUD to add in solar PV optimization as well.
- System design and installation of an optimally-sized ESS that will mitigate PV-induced voltage fluctuations, reduce peak loads, and provide other grid support operations.
“We look forward to working with 1Energy on this innovative project that will ultimately allow Austin Energy to support our aggressive renewable energy goals. Their utility experience and commitment to open standards make them a strong partner in the Austin SHINES solution,” says Karl Popham, Austin Energy Manager of Emerging Technologies and Electric Vehicles.
“We’re pleased to work with Austin Energy in this ground-breaking project,” says David Kaplan, CEO of 1Energy Systems. “The Austin SHINES Solution recognizes that emerging distributed energy assets such as solar and energy storage are part of an integrated, interconnected grid system, and that the benefits of these resources are maximized only when they are coordinated with other grid assets. This holistic approach enables progressive utilities like Austin Energy to take the lead in cost-effective integration of high penetration levels of PV across their system, with added support for reliability and power quality.”