Connecticut Green Bank to Participate in Solar Energy Innovation Network Project

The Green Bank is partnering with the Clean Energy States Alliance on a multi-state initiative to identify locations for distributed energy resources that provide benefits to the grid.

 

Rocky Hill, Connecticut (May 1, 2018) – The Connecticut Green Bank is participating in a multistate initiative that was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to participate in a collaborative research effort to explore new ways solar energy can improve the affordability, reliability, and resiliency of the nation’s electric grid.

The multistate initiative is being led by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a national nonprofit coalition of public agencies and organizations working together to advance clean energy. The Green Bank will work with CESA and five other state partners to identify locations for distributed energy resources (DER) that provide benefits to the grid. The Green Bank’s work will focus on strategies for achieving customer adoption of DERs in high-value locations and measuring the impact these resources have on the electric distribution system.

The other agencies CESA is partnering with on this initiative are:

  • Office of the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia
  • New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission – Sustainable Energy Division
  • Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources
  • Washington Department of Commerce – State Energy Office
  • Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation

The multistate initiative is one of just nine teams selected to join the program, which is known as the Solar Energy Innovation Network.

“We selected teams that are experimenting with promising ideas to use solar power to improve the future of grid security and reliability in their communities,” said Kristen Ardani, who leads the Innovation Network at NREL.

The Green Bank will receive financial, analytical, and facilitation support as it works to anticipate and address new challenges and opportunities stemming from solar energy and other distributed energy technologies. The solutions developed and demonstrated by this multistate initiative will serve as a blueprint for other communities facing similar challenges and opportunities.

Distributed solar and other distributed energy resources are playing an increasingly important role in electricity systems across the United States. “When distributed energy is deployed optimally, it can offer benefits to the customer, to the grid, and to the other ratepayers,” says CESA Executive Director Warren Leon. “Well-sited DER can provide resiliency benefits, reduce grid congestion, and help defer or avoid distribution system upgrade costs.”

“Determining how we can extract the most value from distributed energy resources is critical to the sustained orderly development of the local clean energy industry,” says Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “This project will help Connecticut and our partners identify areas where DERs can play a role in grid modernization and develop deployment strategies with utilities to capture these additional benefits.”

NREL is operating the Solar Energy Innovation Network with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. NREL pursues fundamental research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to transform the way we use energy.

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