Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Seto awards Eaton $3m to increase solar power use

Steve Rogerson
January 14, 2020



Power management company Eaton has been awarded a $3m grant by the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (Seto) to pursue research and development initiatives that enable more widespread adoption of solar power and energy storage.
 
Dublin-based Eaton’s research will focus on developing a real-time controller for behind-the-meter distributed energy resources and loads, such as solar generation and battery storage. The project will integrate data from smart meters to enable grid services that improve reliability in distribution systems with high solar penetration.
 
“We’re delighted to be supporting the energy transition in the USA, driving solar research alongside leading thinkers in academia and industry,” said Ramanath Ramakrishnan, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Eaton. “Our strategic partnership with Seto is central to our efforts to advance intelligent power management innovation. We also very much appreciate the support of congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, chair of the house appropriations subcommittee on energy and water development. Thanks to this grant, we and our research partners can help make tomorrow’s energy systems more reliable, efficient, safe and sustainable.”
 
Eaton’s partners in this research project include National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, Pecan Street, Provo City Power and Commonwealth Edison. To ensure the development of a scalable, real-world offering that reduces adoption risk, the research and development team will work with existing utility infrastructure.
 
Eaton was selected as a part of the Solar Energy Technologies Offices 2019 funding programme, an effort to invest in projects that will lower solar electricity costs, while working to boost solar manufacturing and make solar systems more resilient to cyber attack. Eaton’s project is one of several solar systems integration technology projects that improve the ability of grid operators to integrate increasing amounts of solar generation into the grid in a cost-effective, secure, resilient and reliable manner.
 
“Technical innovation and lower-cost renewables are driving huge changes in how power is generated, stored and consumed,” said Tim Avampato, senior manager at Eaton Research Labs. “Now is the perfect time to focus on building the capabilities we need to support a clean energy future. Our work will help maintain a reliable power grid, optimise the utilisation of behind-the-meter solar generation and improve the return on solar technology investments.”
 
Seto supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability and performance of solar technologies on the grid.
 
Eaton is a power management company with 2018 sales of $21.6bn. It has approximately 100,000 employees and sells products in more than 175 countries.