Arlington, VA.; December 20, 2012 – NRECA's Cooperative Research Network (CRN) will receive $2.1 million of a $9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to the North Carolina State University - FREEDM Systems Center to develop a "plug and play" photovoltaic (PV) system.
CRN, which conducts original, collaborative research for the nation's more than 900 cooperatives, will coordinate demonstration projects with at least two cooperatives to evaluate the PV systems and test the utility interconnection. In addition to assisting in the design of the project, CRN will also ensure the standards comply with the MultiSpeak specification, the de facto common interface model used by electric utilities worldwide.
"CRN will be focusing on the integration of residential level solar resources on reliability and developing a system that works for both the consumer and the utility, simplifying the installation process without compromising safety or electric reliability," said John Hewa, NRECA's Vice President Research, Engineering & Technical Services.
More than a dozen cooperatives across the country are developing community solar farms to meet the growing demand from consumer members for solar energy options. This project will enable cooperatives to give members options that are simple, safe and reliable.
The grant is part of DOE's SunShot Initiative, which seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with other sources of energy by 2020.
The Cooperative Research Network is the research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national service organization representing the nation's more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives.