Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) and Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) announced that they were awarded a $3.24m grant by the Department of Energy (DOE) to demonstrate the use of advanced energy storage technologies to integrate high penetrations of solar energy into the electric grid in Texas.

The project is a collaboration among leading-edge companies in the energy storage space including AMS, Opus One Solutions and GridBright in partnership with Pedernales Electric Cooperative. 

Pedernales is the largest electric distribution cooperative in the United States, serving nearly 290,000 meters over more than 8,100 square miles in Texas.

AMS CEO Susan Kennedy said: "Texas is the new frontier for integrating renewable energy into the electric grid.

"The enormous penetration of wind and solar in Texas has created significant challenges in managing the distribution grid.  PEC is taking on a challenge the whole country is facing."

The grant is part of the DOE SunShot Initiative, launched in 2011 to accelerate the adoption of cost-competitive solar technologies by 2020.  

The project technology team will be led by AMS along with technology partner Opus One Solutions and grid management experts, GridBright.  This is the second technology collaboration between AMS and Opus One.

PEC chief strategy officer Peter Muhoro said: "This project will demonstrate end-to-end optimization of DER resources and give distribution operators the situational awareness and control needed to maintain grid reliability while cost-effectively serving our members."

The AMS Armada platform will be used to design, optimize and manage fleets of distributed solar and other distributed energy resources (DER) that maximize the economic value of stored energy behind-the-meter at end-use customer sites in concert with Opus One's GridOS software platform which will provide full grid visibility, DER optimization, and real-time transactional capability to PEC at the distribution system level.

Opus One CEO Joshua Wong said: "Opus One is excited to be working with AMS again, to deliver a techno-economic model that optimizes high penetration of solar PV, utilizing battery storage and leveraging Opus One's GridOS intelligent en‎ergy management platform."

AMS chief technology advisor Alain Steven said: "Tomorrow's electric grid requires energy storage solutions managed by advanced software that continuously optimizes distributed resources to accommodate the variability of renewable generation.

"Combining technology solutions that simultaneously co-optimize both customer load and distributed generation will demonstrate the full power of Distributed Energy Resources to manage the most dynamic grid conditions. It's really exciting."

The AMS-Opus One solution will demonstrate cost-effective integration of high penetrations of distributed resources in the power grid of the future, while meeting the core objectives of reliability, resiliency, and affordability.