Austin SHINES: Innovations in Energy Storage

Integrating Solar Power, Energy Storage, and Modern Technologies

The Austin Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar Photovoltaics (SHINES) project can improve the way that we generate, deliver, and consume electricity. The goal of the project is to optimize the value stream for solar and storage with a business model developed for grid, commercial, and residential applications. 

Collectively, the following integrated resources make up the Austin SHINES project:

  • two utility scale energy storage systems
  • multiple customer-sited energy storage systems at residential and commercial properties
  • smart inverters
  • real-time data feeds
  • a distributed energy resource optimizer

The integration of these technologies helps to further deliver clean, affordable, reliable energy to our customers.

SHINES At-A-Glance

  • City of Austin Renewable Energy Goal — The SHINES project supports the city’s goal of 65% renewable energy generation, local solar, and storage goals by 2027. 
  • Energy Storage Systems (ESS) — A 1.5 MW/3 MWh LG Chem lithium-ion battery will be co-located with a community solar array. Additionally, a 1.75 MW/3.2 MWh Younicos lithium-ion battery will be added to a location containing 2 MW of rooftop solar. Residential and commercial properties will also be pairing battery storage with solar arrays.
  • Funding — Federal, state, and city sources from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality New Technology Implementation Grant, and Austin Energy fund the project.
  • Partners — Pecan Street, Inc., Doosan, Stem Inc., Clean Power Research, and more are working with Austin Energy on the project.
  • Timeline — The project is scheduled for 39 months ending April 30, 2019. It will include an evaluation and reporting period.

Watch and Learn: Using Storage to Improve Grid Resiliency

Austin SHINES: Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV

The project, known as Austin SHINES (Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar Photovoltaics) integrates solar power, energy storage, smart inverters, forecasting tools, market signals, advanced communications and a software optimization platform.

At the utility scale, two energy storage systems will be tied directly to the Austin Energy distribution system. 

  • One grid-battery will be paired with a new community solar array in East Austin. 
  • Another will support commercial and residential rooftop solar systems in the Mueller mixed-use development.

Austin SHINES moves Austin Energy closer to meeting the City of Austin’s climate protection vision of achieving 65% renewable energy generation by 2027. 

  • This vision includes specific achievements for local solar and energy storage. 
  • This project will analyze and determine best practices for integrating renewable energy and energy storage on the grid at utility, commercial, and residential scales.

SunShot: Enabling solar energy storage solutions to build a more reliable grid.

Funding for Austin SHINES 

Funding for this three-year project has been provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Sunshot Initiative, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and Austin Energy.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative — is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at
  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) — is providing financial assistance for new technology implementation activities to benefit the environment. The funding is coming from the TCEQ New Technology Implementation Grant Program. 

Funding amounts are as follows:

  • $4.3 million from the Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. 
    This funding will enable Austin Energy to install a grid scale battery in the Mueller Development, along with pairing energy storage with residential and commercial rooftop solar. This project also includes smart inverters and a system optimization platform.
  • $1.0 million from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 
    Funding from the TCEQ enables Austin Energy to pair a grid scale battery with a 2 MW community solar array in East Austin.
  • Matching funds from Austin Energy. 
    Austin Energy will match the investments financially along with staff support as part of receiving the grants.

Project Partners

Pecan Street, Inc. — Pecan Street Inc. is a research and development organization headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin. They are focused on developing and testing advanced technology, business model and customer behavior surrounding advanced energy management systems. Pecan Street, Inc. is supporting the residential components of the Austin SHINES project.

Doosan – Doosan is an energy storage system integrator and control system developer based in Seattle, WA. They are responsible for supporting the grid-scale energy storage systems. They are also developing a software optimizer platform for Distributed Energy Resources (DERs).

Stem Inc. — Stem is the third party aggregator for the Commercial portion of the Austin SHINES project. They will provide support to Austin Energy's Distributed Energy Resource Optimizer (DERO) by controlling multiple energy storage systems (ESS) in response to a single dispatch signal. By demonstrating the value of ESS at the commercial scale, data and insights obtained from this portion of the Austin SHINES project will support the scaling and integration of future commercial energy storage projects into Austin Energy's system.

Clean Power Research — Clean Power Research will utilize satellite imagery and numerical weather modeling algorithms to forecast the power and energy generated by the Austin SHINES solar photovoltaic (PV) fleet. They will provide predicted near-term and long-term solar PV output as an input to the DERO of the Austin SHINES demonstration project. The Solar PV output forecasts will aid DERO in the holistic optimization of dispatching Distributed Energy Resources.

ConnectDER — ConnectDER will be working in conjunction with Pecan Street by providing a connection point between Austin Energy’s residential meter and the distributed energy resources. The Smart ConnectDER will add metering and management functions to be utilized by Austin Energy.

Younicos — Younicos is a hardware solutions provider for battery storage. They will provide the grid-scale Energy Storage Units for the Mueller Storage System. 

Additional partners will be announced as the project progresses. 

Estimated Project Timeline

Austin SHINES is a 39-month project that consists of a contract phase, design phase, deployment phase, and demonstration phase. The project is estimated to be completed by April 30, 2019. 

Contact Us for More Information

We are working to generate community interest as this exciting project develops. Want to learn more or invite us to present Austin SHINES to your organization? 

Email us at Austin Energy SHINES

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