SolarCity collaborates with PG&E on distributed energy project

SolarCity, the leading provider of solar rooftop leases in the U.S., has announced this week the commencement of a distributed energy resource project with power utility Pacific gas and Electric (PG&E) designed to unlock the benefits of solar, storage and smart inverters for enhanced grid stability.

The collaboration will see PG&E team up with SolarCity in San Jose, California, to assess ways to enhance the grid using a combination of smart inverters, tied to battery storage systems and fed by rooftop PV arrays. Testing will cover grid stabilization and examine how best to optimize solar generation and power-flow management.

SolarCity will utilize its Grid Services product suite for the project, which can leverage aggregated distributed energy resources (DERs) to deliver voltage and reactive power support, peak shaving and dynamic capacity. During the project, SolarCity will deploy a portfolio of solar+smart inverter+storage DERs to PG&E for flexibility testing.

The idea is to develop a more customer-centric grid, SolarCity said, and the project will initially impact 150 residential solar customers in San Jose, each of whom will receive a smart inverter/battery storage system to augment their rooftop array.

The project will begin in September and run until December 2017, the company confirmed.