Solar Energy Grid Integration System

Solar power — By on October 28, 2008 at 8:38 am
20050804152829us department of energy seal 300x300 Solar Energy Grid Integration System

U.S Department of Energy Seal

Have you heard about the solar energy grid integration system (SEGIS) program? If not, you’re in good company. You shouldn’t be in the dark when it comes to important solar energy initiatives, though.

The solar energy grid integration system program was established through the U.S. Department of Energy, and is part of its Solar America Initiative (SAI), which aims to make photovoltaic (PV) solar powered products cost-competitive with other sources of electricity by the year 2015. Specifically, the solar energy grid integration system is:

A $24 million effort to develop advanced inverters and balance-of-system components that aim to reduce the lifetime cost of solar electricity while enabling increased grid penetration and greater overall PV system reliability.

A Bend, Oregon company, PV Powered, was selected to receive an award under the solar energy grid integration system program last month. What does this mean to you, the average citizen? PV Powered, and two other members of its “team,” Portland General Electric and Northern Plains Power Technologies, could receive $5 million over several stages of the competitive program. The money would be used to advance innovations that increase energy harvest, reduce the cost of PV systems and remove barriers to increased grid penetration.

In short, the efforts of the PV-Powered team should take us closer to accomplishing the objectives of the Solar America Initiative. This means that clean, green power through PV solar cells could be just as inexpensive as the electricity that comes from burning coal within 5 or 6 years!

2480416263 e0a3029cfe 300x199 Solar Energy Grid Integration System

Obama meets with PV Powered CEO Gregg Patterson

PV-Powered is one of a number of companies that will be receiving an award through the SEIGIS program. However, it may be one of the most newsworthy. In May 2008, Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama visited PV-Powered during a campaign trip to Oregon. Obama not only toured the solar power facility, but also made a stirring speech about energy independence and investment in renewable energy. Obama pledged a 25% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and urged a 30% investment tax credit for renewable energy companies and products such as those produced by PV-Powered.

PV-Powered CEO Gregg Patterson had this to say after the DOE’s announcement of the award:

PV Powered is honored to be selected by Sandia and the US DOE for this highly competitive program. The SEGIS program is a perfect complement to the industry-leading inverter reliability work we pioneered with Boeing as part of an earlier SAI program. We are also pleased to team with Portland General Electric and NPPT who are each recognized leaders in their fields.

As a Bend, Oregon resident, I am fortunate enough to literally watch the future of solar power take shape in my backyard. Just last night, at a fundraising dinner, I talked with an employee of PV-Powered who excitedly told me that future innovations coming out of the company are going to be earth shattering. With the award money from the Department of Energy for the solar energy grid integration system program, the government is literally investing in our future – one that doesn’t require foreign oil supplies or the burning of dirty, polluting coal. Even more exciting is the prospect that solar power technologies could be integrated into existing electrical grids just after the end of the first term of our next elected President!

For more information on the solar energy grid integration system project, see this page on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.

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  1. David says:

    I heard it emits CO2 while producing the solar cells.Do you think that will affect this solar project?

  2. Stephanie says:

    Hi David – production of solar cells, while not environmentally neutral, is much, much cleaner than burning coal. And technology marches on. Many companies, including PV Powered, are working to develop new products that will further minimize the carbon footprint of producing clean energy sources such as solar cells.

  3. all things add to global warming. we just have to make sure the technology is in place to minimize it.

  4. Gary Baylis says:


    I’m going to be building a new home and I want to install a solar roof and I was wondering what effects solar power might have on sensative electronics, questions like, fluxuations in power and low power output on the household electronics.


    Gary Baylis

  5. Scott says:

    Good information here, thanls! When you
    have time a good place to go to watch
    videos on solar power systems
    is at
    I think you’ll enjoy all the videos
    and training information there.

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