Utilities Get Grant for Solar Research

Two prominent utility companies are teaming up to research ways tobenefit consumers and the environment by producing more efficient photovoltaic panels than ever.

Anannouncement from Hawaiian Electric Company in Honolulu says that itwill work with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in Californiato make photovoltaic panels more productive and efficient while keepingthem reliable enough to serve utility grids. The two utilitieswill be working with a research grant from the California SolarInitiative Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration programthat could be worth as much as $2.9 million.

"The CaliforniaSolar Initiative is one of the greatest focused efforts to promote solar photovoltaics ever seen and is designed to help build a sustainablesolar industry. Integrating substantial amounts of PV into the grid ispart of that vision," said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey. "Theresearch projects approved today will remove barriers and provide keyinsights into how we can efficiently use the energy from PV beingproduced on a million solar roofs."

The announcement noted thatboth utilities have seen substantial growth in the number ofphotovoltaic systems being used in their service areas.

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