Case Western Reserve University to participate in Department of Energy award to develop solar energy solutions and more resilient electrical grid
CLEVELAND—Case Western Reserve University will participate in a three-year collaborative research project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to develop solar energy storage solutions and a more resilient, secure national electrical grid.
Led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Case Western Reserve researchers will investigate grid integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation, energy storage, load management and solar forecasting. The project is part of the Energy Department’s Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV, or SHINES, program.
With a total budget of $6.3 million, the research project aims to support the transformation of electric power system design and operation to seamlessly integrate solar PV and energy storage. Energy storage, solar PV and affordable, reliable grid modernization technologies are expected to play an increasingly important role in reaching the nation’s climate and clean energy goals.
Case Western Reserve, in collaboration with FirstEnergy, MCCo, Eaton, GE’s Grid Solutions (formerly Alstom Grid) and LG Chem, will provide a location on campus for one of the project’s three demonstration sites.
“Solar PV and energy storage, if effectively coordinated and controlled, could provide significant value to energy providers and consumers and result in very efficient grid operations,” said Marija Prica, an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve. “These demonstrations are a critical step toward broader adoption of these technologies on the grid scale and will offer insights and advancements for managing the electric grid with high quality of service to customers while integrating PV and energy storage.”
Prica, Case Western Reserve’s lead investigator for the project, Kenneth Loparo, Nord Professor of Engineering and Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Mingguo Hong, an associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will develop, design and demonstrate a two-level control strategy that will be demonstrated at the Case Western Reserve site.
The control system’s objective is to effectively manage energy from solar PV sources, energy storage and traditional generation to maintain reliability and the quality of electricity service to consumers.
Research at Case Western Reserve will include:
• Developing a two-level control architecture with optimal control strategies;
• Developing controllable distributed energy resources that combine energy storage, load management and demand response with solar PV;
• Integrating high-resolution solar forecasting to improve solar PV predictability;
• Managing smart inverters to improve system performance.
This effort is one of six new projects, representing $18 million in funding, for research that improves the ability to provide solar power as needed and helps to improve the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid.
About Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is one of the country's leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 4,900 undergraduate and 5,900 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.edu to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.
About the SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at www.energy.gov/sunshot.