SunPower will participate on two distinct projects with solar technologists to research ‘how to facilitate high levels of distributed PV penetration into the utility distribution system’.

SunPower will use the funding for the first project to explore the planning and modeling for PV on the California transmission and distribution network. The company will research the development of tools and resources necessary to facilitate the study of PV scenarios using industry-standard simulation tools.

With regard to the second project, the company will team up with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to research the new hardware and software tools for providing bi-directional communication and management between PV systems and utility controls using advanced metering infrastructure. The company will provide supplementary funds to SMUD for the latter project.

The California Solar Initiative (CSI), overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission, has a goal to create 3,000MW of new, solar-produced electricity by 2016.

Bill Mulligan, vice president of technology and development at SunPower, said: “We are honored to be selected by the CSI RD&D Committee for these awards. Participating in research and development projects under the California Solar Initiative, and partnering with leading solar technologists, will be a benefit to SunPower’s business and broaden the success of solar programs in California.”