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Austin SHINES: Innovations in Energy Storage

Integrating Solar Power, Energy Storage, and Modern Technologies

In June 2015, Austin Energy was awarded $1 million from the State of Texas through a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Through this grant, Austin Energy will develop a pilot energy storage system paired with a community solar array.

In February 2016, Austin Energy was awarded $4.3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. Through this grant, Austin Energy will pilot a technology platform to enable and promote integrated distributed energy resources.

Collectively, these resources make up the Austin SHINES project, which can improve the way that we generate, deliver, and consume electricity. The integration of these technologies helps to further deliver clean, affordable, reliable energy to our customers.

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 of 2 MW 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 55% renewable energy generation by 2025. 

  • 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 energy.gov/sunshot.
     
  • 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. — Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Inc. is a research and development organization 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 recently acquired 1Energy Systems, an energy storage system integrator and control system developer based in Seattle, WA. Doosan is now responsible for supporting the grid-scale energy storage systems, as well as developing a software optimizer platform for Distributed Energy Resources (DERs).

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

Learn More


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