- StorEdgeAI has been awarded $1.8 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to develop the non-wires technology.
- The company plans to demonstrate the technology using a 1.4MW solar site under commercial operation.
June 1, 2021, SEATTLE, WA – StorEdgeAI has been awarded $1.8M from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to develop a non-wires energy delivery technology for utility-scale solar. This project will demonstrate one of the commercial applications of StorEdgeAI’s technology platform by delivering solar energy using a transportation infrastructure for ultra-fast charging of electric vehicles. This work keeps pace with the nation’s recent ambition to accelerate the energy transition to 100% clean energy by 2035.
Sustained advances in solar technologies have led to a levelized cost of energy of less than $0.03 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for utility-scale solar. Still, the delivered cost remains as high as $0.20/kWh in some states due to the ever-increasing costs of operations of transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure. This project is developing a non-wires delivery system to circumvent T&D to accelerate solar adoption and achieve a delivered cost of less than $0.15/kWh before 2025. The system includes a utility-scale solar integrated with non-wire energy carriers with onboard energy storage, power electronics, and the balance of systems. Since there is no grid connection, the inverters and the alternating current balance of plant equipment are not required. Such solar plants can be seamlessly built with environmental permits only, eliminating the years-long process to secure grid interconnection rights and thereby eliminating a substantial portion of the soft costs. By reducing the need for T&D infrastructure, this project aims to lower solar costs as more consumers adopt solar.
“The 20th-century T&D infrastructure requires a nitro-boost to accelerate the 21st-century clean energy transition. The renewable-intensive generation has been straining the grid infrastructure already, and now the grid should accommodate the lumpiness of ultra-fast electric-vehicle charging loads, which are mobile. So the stationary grid is expected to host mobile loads. With our non-wires technology, as one of the commercial applications, we aim to offset these lumpy and mobile loads from the grid by directly serving them, so that grid infrastructure frees up to host more renewables.” said Ranjan Gupta, Founder & CEO of StorEdgeAI. Ranjan added, “The proposed technology is transformative, and it would require supports from legislative and regulatory bodies from both the U.S. Energy and Transportation departments.
David Eaglesham, Advisor to StorEdgeAI, said, “the transition away from fossil energy will place unprecedented stress on our grid infrastructure, and accomplishing this will be both too expensive and too slow if we use only traditional transmission and distribution. StorEdgeAI offers a way to accelerate the transition by repurposing legacy fossil infrastructure for the new green economy ”.
StorEdgeAI will collaborate with the project sub-recipient NWL Inc. to demonstrate the technology using a 1.4MW solar farm. “NWL is excited to support the development and validation of this non-wires T&D alternative. StorEdgeAI’s technology platform has strategic alignment with propositions we want to offer to our customers in the future”, said David Seitz, President of NWL.
StorEdgeAI was selected as a part of the SETO Fiscal Year 2020 funding program, an effort to advance research and development projects that will lower solar electricity costs, increase the competitiveness of American solar manufacturing and businesses, improve the reliability and resilience of the grid, and expand solar to new applications. StorEdgeAI is one of several solar hardware manufacturing projects that will develop prototypes and resolve business or market risks in order to lower the costs of solar energy technologies, facilitate the secure integration of solar electricity onto the grid, and support a strong U.S. solar manufacturing sector and supply chain.
As part of its $1.8 million cooperative award from SETO, StorEdgeAI and its partners will contribute a cost-share of $470,000, bringing the total funding for the project to $2.3 million.
StorEdgeAI is a Seattle-based startup focusing on developing an energy storage technology platform for accelerating the energy transition. Since its founding in 2019, StorEdgeAI is also providing project development, analytics, power market, and procurement advisory for energy storage to utility-scale and commercial & industrial developers in several ISO/RTO for both the front and behind the meter projects. StorEdgeAI clients include technology companies that offer software to utilities and developers.
About the Solar Energy Technologies Office
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and domestic benefit of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at energy.gov/solar-office.