For Immediate Release: November 30, 2011
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Awards $227,000 to SMUD for Energy Storage Research

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today awarded $227,000 to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) for a research project demonstrating how energy storage can be integrated into local microgrids.

"Investing in energy storage research and testing is critical for meeting California's clean, renewable energy goals. Energy storage has the potential for helping improve a number of grid-related challenges including integration of intermittent renewables and maintenance of electricity system reliability," said Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller.

Funding for the project will come from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. The award is the result of a solicitation where PIER matched American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds with the goal to bring as much ARRA dollars into California as possible.

SMUD will demonstrate a one-megawatt advanced zinc bromine flow battery energy storage system for utility grid applications and validate the potential penetration of the system. The project will demonstrate the benefits of the storage system for load shifting, peak shaving (sending power back to the grid when demand is high), support for microgrid operations, and renewable energy integration.

SMUD plans to set up two demonstration sites using Premium Power Corporation's energy storage system. One system will be at SMUD's Sacramento headquarters; the second will serve the Anatolia III SolarSmart Homes community in Rancho Cordova.

The SMUD headquarters system will help improve microgrid operations, emergency operations, and boost peak period campus operation using electricity generated during off-peak hours. The system at SMUD's substation will be integrated with the Anatolia III SolarSmart Homes community, which will have 600 homes totaling 1.2 MW of photovoltaic generating capacity installed by the time the system is activated. A common control system at SMUD headquarters will control both storage systems to demonstrate fleet control of multiple distributed storage devices.

The total cost of the SMUD project is $5.15 million. The Commission's funding will supplement a $2.46 million ARRA award that SMUD, along with project partner Premium Power Corporation, received from the U.S. Department of Energy. SMUD is providing $2.46 million for the project.

The Public Interest Energy Research program supports public interest research and development that helps improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, reliable, and affordable energy services and products to the marketplace. For more information, visit

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.

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