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On the southside of Chicago, an early example of community solar for low-income Americans is operating at the Dearborn Homes in the Bronzeville community, thanks in part to a DOE-funded project to support a microgrid that combines solar photovoltaics with battery storage.
U.S. Department of Energy

Title: Microgrid-Integrated Solar-Storage Technology (MISST) 
Funding OpportunitySustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV
SETO TeamSystems Integration
Location: Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois
Amount Awarded: $4,000,000
Awardee Cost Share: $4,000,000

The Microgrid-Integrated Solar-Storage Technology (MISST) project will address availability and variability issues inherent in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology by utilizing smart inverters for solar PV and battery storage and by working synergistically with other components within a microgrid community. MISST utilizes the existing DOE-funded microgrid technologies and testbed and is designed to work seamlessly with a dedicated solar PV/storage controller that will be developed in this project. The PV/storage controller will demonstrate the economic, reliability, and resilience benefits of a microgrid-based solar PV/storage solution.


The project will deploy high-power solar PV and a high-power battery energy storage system (BESS) in the Bronzeville Community Microgrid (BCM), which is controlled by a microgrid cluster controller and is electrically connected to an existing 12 megawatt microgrid. Initially, ComEd plans to deploy a 2 megawatt islandable feeder, with the potential to expand it to the full microgrid scale by completing the additional feeder configurations, communication, protection and control systems planned for the complete microgrid.  The total installed solar and storage capacity within the project will achieve instantaneous penetration levels between 20% and 35% of the microgrid’s peak load. The MISST integrated solution will be scalable to significantly higher levels of penetration with standardized and proven external and internal interoperability capabilities.

The project team will also develop optimal integration of PV and energy storage in an islandable microgrid and the optimal utilization of such systems by coordinating the operation of their controllers with those of other microgrid elements. Smart inverters offering robust droop control strategies will also be developed and demonstrated. The MISST project deliverables will include the strategic plan and detailed design methodology for MISST, recommended methodologies, processes and considerations for practical implementation and scaling up for high power applications of similar solutions, and numerical input and analytical results based on the deployment. 


If successful, the project will provide a utility-scale practical implementation of a hierarchical and coordinated solution that addresses one of the key barriers for the high penetration of solar PV systems: the seamless integration of these systems in utility grids. This means that solar PV systems are both intended to operate without deterioration of reliability, power quality and operational security of transmission and distribution utility systems, and are also expected to help improve efficiency by supplying loads locally and providing ancillary services when needed, under interconnected and islanded conditions. In this regard, this project would represent a contribution to modern and future T&D system engineering, control and operations.

Download the presentation from Commonwealth Edison Company at the SHINES Technical Kickoff Meeting.