Issue Brief: Solar Power Northeast 2018

Matt Kromer speaking to a booth visitor about integrating battery storage and PV.

The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) was pleased to participate in this month’s Solar Power Northeast conference in Boston. We presented our research, development and demonstration work in photovoltaic modules, grid integration, and energy storage as an event exhibitor, discussing solar and energy storage industry developments and trends with an interested audience.

The event, formerly known as PV America, brought together industry leaders, professionals, manufacturers, and service providers for a robust exploration of emerging technologies, policy initiatives and other market forces. The conference took place at an interesting time in Massachusetts, as the administration of Governor Charlie Baker recently announced that the Commonwealth has installed more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity generation across the state in the past decade.

Fraunhofer CSE has worked closely with leading stakeholders in Massachusetts during the solar sector’s rise, providing technical expertise, R&D, and technology validation services to government organizations, utilities and manufacturers. The Commonwealth ranks among the leaders in U.S. solar employment and newly installed solar capacity, with every community in Massachusetts now operating at least one solar installation. The state also recently launched a new solar incentive program in support of an additional 1,600 MW of future solar capacity.

At the conference, Fraunhofer CSE engaged with industry leaders and key stakeholders regarding CSE’s role in bringing transparency to the solar market, further improving the adoption of residential solar, and addressing electric load management. We interacted with numerous members of the renewable energy community who were eager to learn about our recently-opened Energy Storage Integration Lab and the associated research initiative to develop standardized test protocols for assessing residential storage systems.

The conference also allowed our Grid Integration team and several solar plant developers to discuss the possibility of leveraging Fraunhofer CSE’s Global Scheduler, a flexible open-source software platform that optimally manages various distributed energy resources such as solar PV, energy storage systems, and loads. There was a high level of interest from solar developers for control solutions that effectively integrate storage capacity into energy markets, such as the Global Scheduler.

Solar Power Northeast also allowed our team to strengthen relationships within the Fraunhofer CSE alumni network. Staff reconnected with former CSE fellow Michael Lucini of ISM Solar, a Rhode Island-based developer of solar PV projects, and TechBridge alum Jeff McAuley, now co-founder of Energetic Insurance, a company offering solar insurance solutions for commercial and industrial solar PV projects.

We thank SEIA and SEPA for another successful Solar Power Northeast Conference and Exhibition. We enjoyed sharing our recent research with the community and engaging with partners, clients, and other industry leaders.

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The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) is an applied research and development laboratory dedicated to building tomorrow’s energy future today.
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