Initiated in 2008, the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) program is a partnership involving the U.S. DOE, Sandia National Laboratories, private sector companies, electric utilities, and universities. Projects supported under the program have focused on the complete-system development of solar technologies, with the dual goal of expanding utility-scale penetration and addressing new challenges of connecting large-scale solar installations in higher penetrations to the electric grid.
The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), its partners, and Sandia National Laboratories have successfully collaborated to complete the work under the third and final stage of the SEGIS initiative. The SEGIS program was a three-year, three-stage project that include conceptual design and market analysis in Stage 1, prototype development and testing in Stage 2, and moving toward commercialization in Stage 3.
Under this program, the FSEC SEGIS team developed a comprehensive vision that has guided technology development that sets one methodology for merging photovoltaic (PV) and smart-grid technologies. The FSEC team‘s objective in the SEGIS project is to remove barriers to large-scale general integration of PV and to enhance the value proposition of photovoltaic energy by enabling PV to act as much as possible as if it were at the very least equivalent to a conventional utility power plant. It was immediately apparent that the advanced power electronics of these advanced inverters will go far beyond conventional power plants, making high penetrations of PV not just acceptable, but desirable.
This report summarizes a three-year effort to develop, validate and commercialize Grid-Smart Inverters for wider photovoltaic utilization, particularly in the utility sector. This project was a team collaboration between the Florida Solar Energy Center, Satcon Technology Corporation, Northern Plains Power Technologies, Lakeland Electric Utilities, SunEdison, Sentech, Inc., Cooper Power Systems EAS, DX3 Enterprises Ltd., and Sandia National Laboratories.