Thanks especially to our utility partners, we’re taking on some of the most important—and toughest challenges of our day. According to John Powers, Extensible Energy CEO, “This project will take solutions that utilities have proven on a limited scale and combine them in the most cost-effective, appealing, and replicable ways possible. We’re going to develop a playbook for more solar, faster, and with less risk to utility service reliability and overall customer satisfaction.”
Working first at SMUD and then in other markets, the project will present solid ways to prioritize community-shared solar sites, to design for greater solar value, and to incorporate companion measures, such as advanced load management (demand-response) and thermal or battery storage into the program design. Such measures can directly address solar variability, so more costly distribution-engineering solutions and the cost of regional-level grid-management services can be minimized.
Steve Jobs said that “Creativity is just connecting things.” That’s how we plan to work—in the unknown space between proven measures and new programs, on strategies that pull very different solar stakeholder interests together around the necessity more sustainable, universal clean energy services.
You can read the entire DOE press release here. With sleeves rolled up, our team will be focused on market and technology analyses, modeling, and SMUD program design elements for a while. I look forward to sharing more here—and eventually through other media—as we go. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or comments.