February 23, 2024

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U.S. Department of Energy Awards $45 Million to Advance Solar Manufacturing and Grid Tech

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $45 million for projects that will help seamlessly integrate clean energy sources onto the grid, supporting the Biden Administration’s goal of a decarbonised power sector by 2035. As solar and other renewable energy are rapidly deployed throughout the country, these projects are developing new technologies and capabilities to bolster the resilience of the U.S. electric grid. The funding, which also creates a new $25 million consortium, will advance the domestic manufacturing of solar energy and electric grid technologies.

To flip the switch on climate change, the government needs a grid that’s chock full of cheap and accessible renewable energy. The universities, small businesses and national labs behind these projects are building the critical components of America’s future grid, making it more resilient on the way to a 100% clean power system.

Secretary of Energy

Renewable energy is America’s largest source of new electricity generation, with hundreds of gigawatts of solar and wind expected to come online in the next 15 years. Maintaining a reliable, high-renewable grid requires technologies and industry standards that can seamlessly coordinate renewable resources and restart the grid if it goes down.

When the power goes out today, a grid operator must first turn on a spinning turbine—often from a coal or gas-fired power plant—that sends a signal for other power sources to match. Grid-forming inverters will allow renewable sources to create that signal, eliminating the need for a turbine.

The selected projects will:

  • Create a public-private consortium on grid integration technology (Award amount: $25 million)– The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Washington, and the Electric Power Research Institute will co-lead an industry-wide consortium to advance research on grid-forming inverters — an emerging technology that allows solar and other inverter-based energy sources to restart the grid without a spinning turbine, typically an oil or coal-fired power plant. This consortium will include national labs, universities and minority-serving institutions, equipment manufacturers, utilities and bulk power system operators.
  • Provide utilities better data about rooftop solar power generation (Award amount: $6 million) – Two projects led by GridBright, Inc. (Alamo, California) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) will develop sensor hardware and system designs that will help utilities understand how much renewable energy is being generated by residential and commercial solar photovoltaics (PV), strengthening the reliability of the electricity grid.
  • Advance the commercialisation of American-made solar innovations (Award amount: $14 million)– Nine solar hardware and manufacturing projects will receive DOE funding to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative technologies that can lower the cost of solar technologies and help to integrate solar electricity into the nation’s energy grid. Among the projects include a new solar heat system to dry out sewage and convert it to fertilizer, which would help decarbonise the agricultural, wastewater, and industrial sectors and a project to develop a low-cost device to help prevent solar system electrical fires.

The projects are part of DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2021 Systems Integration and Hardware Incubator funding program of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). EERE’s mission is to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies and solutions to equitably transition America to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.

The projects and work supported through EERE aim to ensure the clean energy economy benefits all Americans, creating well-paying jobs for the American people—especially workers and communities impacted by the energy transition and those historically underserved by the energy system and overburdened by pollution.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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