Austin Energy’s Solar Storage Project Wows Again with Greentech Media Award

May 24, 2018

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The control room at Austin Energy. Photo courtesy of Austin Energy.
The control room at Austin Energy. Photo courtesy of Austin Energy.

Since 2016, Texas utility Austin Energy has worked with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a low-cost integrated solar plus storage solution that other utilities can replicate. Now, Greentech Media is recognizing Austin Energy for its innovation and leadership in integrating solar and storage in the Lone Star state.

One of only ten to be honored, the 2018 Grid Edge Innovation Awards celebrate the top companies and projects driving innovation in the electricity system. They celebrate industry leaders that are advancing distributed energy system technologies and highlight innovative applications of grid edge technologies.

Austin Energy was recognized for its Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES) project funded by the Solar Energy Technologies Office. Providing electricity to nearly half a million residents in central Texas, this publicly owned electric utility is creating and testing a platform that enables better control of the solar energy generated by homes in its portfolio. This new energy management tool seeks to lower the cost of solar plus storage to 14 cents per kilowatt hour and could enable distributed energy resources, like solar energy, to be diverted to battery storage facilities for use at a later time. This solution could help the utility to better manage energy loads when more solar is connected to the grid, improving grid reliability and preparing the city for Austin Energy’s goal of reaching 65 percent renewable energy generation by the year 2027.

Next, Austin Energy and its partners will test and optimize their solution’s effectiveness when they connect a variety of distributed energy resources to the platform, which includes: two utility-scale storage systems, rooftop and commercial solar installations, customer-owned storage systems, smart inverters, and a variety of other analytical tools. The team aims to provide insight into the technologies that will serve energy loads at low costs and high penetrations of solar and will help to determine best practices utilities when integrating renewable energy and energy storage on the grid at utility, commercial, and residential scales.

Learn more about the office’s SHINES projects and its systems integration research.

Austin Energy SHINES: Additional Stories and Resources

Webinar: How Austin Energy is Maximizing the Value of Integrated Storage and DERMS
On May 31, 2018 at 2:00PM ET Austin SHINES Project Manager Lisa Martin will host a webinar with Greentech Media on her award winning project.
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Video: Using Storage to Improve Grid Resiliency
Austin Energy is working to develop replicable energy storage solutions to enable higher amounts of solar to be added to the grid.
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Making Progress on Solar Energy Storage
The Energy Department is working toward maximizing the use of solar energy to produce electricity—even when the sun isn’t shining.
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Energy Department Announces $18 Million to Develop Solar Energy Storage Solutions, Boost Grid Resiliency

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