The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative has been an extremely successful program that has funded a ton of renewable energy innovation. Under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) SunShot Initiative, the Department will fund 40 projects with a total of $42 million to improve PV performance, reliability, manufacturability and to enable greater market penetration for solar technologies. In addition to the new projects announced today, the Department intends to make up to $65 million, subject to appropriation, in additional funding available for upcoming solar research and development projects to continue driving down the cost of solar energy and accelerating widespread national deployment.
Announced at the Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas as part of this $107 million in new funding, $875,000 has been awarded to Pika Energy, Inc., which will use the funds to add new hardware and software features to its model X7601 Pika Islanding Inverter, enabling the inverter for demand response, aggregation and other grid services aimed at evolving the U.S. electricity grid. The enhanced communication and software capabilities will allow utilities to remotely dispatch distributed energy systems in periods of peaking demand.
“The Pika Energy Island, with its high voltage bus electronics, has the high efficiency and smart operational features necessary to offer utilities a truly distributed path to the smart grid,” said Pika Energy president and co-founder Ben Polito. “We’re thrilled to work with the U.S. Department of Energy on this exciting project, which will leverage Pika’s technology to take a big step toward a smarter, cleaner grid.”
Pika Energy is becoming a leading provider of smart power electronics for solar-plus-storage. The company’s Pika Energy Island system uses a patented 380V direct current bus to integrate solar and batteries on the same bus, enabling building-scale nanogrids using a single islanding inverter.