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Solar Energy Innovation Network Video (Text Version)

This is the text version for the Solar Energy Innovation Network video.

Kristen Ardani, Solar Energy Innovation Network Program Lead, NREL:

The entire paradigm around electricity delivery is changing very, very quickly.

Utilities are grappling with how to incorporate and integrate a variety of new technologies and by equipping stakeholders with the information they need to make those decisions in real-time is extremely important.

The Solar Energy Innovation Network is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder initiative,supported by the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, to promote innovation and collaboration in the areas of grid reliability and grid resilience across multiple geographies in the U.S.

We're researching cutting-edge solutions and novel applications of solar energy technologies and other distributed energy resources and validating those through rigorous demonstrations, pilot implementation, and analysis.

Joyce McLaren, Options Analysis Cohort Lead, NREL:

We can work together to solve real problems bfor individual teams and then use those lessons learned to develop products that are applicable across the country for many, many different locations.

Kristen Ardani:

The U.S. is a very diverse energy market and if we're going to achieve the goals of a more reliable and resilient grid, we need to be able to adapt the lessons learned from our core innovation network activities to a broad suite of contexts.

Jonathan Monkey, Senior Director, PJM Interconnection:

So, the interesting thing about this Innovation Network-style is it's kind of like crowdsourcing a problem, so we've got a lot of people coming with different areas of expertise, different backgrounds, different insights, and just different information that they can bring to the table.

So, I like the fact that you can kind of stress test some of the ideas, find out if it makes sense, if it's realistic, if it's not realistic, does it help...and I think that kind of turns a traditional research model on its head and that's why I think this is such an effective process.

Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability, City of Orlando:

What's happening here with the Solar Energy Innovation Network is the right step. It's essentially trying to bring cohorts together that are working on similar initiatives and trying to address similar challenges, to share best practices, to also share solutions that have worked in some of those cities or jurisdictions, and find ways to leapfrog around some of the hurdles that other municipalities may be facing to achieve these ambitious goals.

Joyce McLaren:

So, the Options Analysis Cohort is made up of teams that are tackling questions related to increasing levels of solar on the system. So, they're looking at how to balance the system with higher levels of solar, how to maintain reliability and stability of the grid, and also how to use solar to increase the resiliency of the grid.

Lori Bird, GridFlex Cohort Lead, NREL:

The teams that I'm working with are focused on trying to figure out how to obtain the full value for PV and PV coupled with other technologies, like storage and electric vehicles, and how those can work together on the grid.

Sarah Wright, Executive Director, Utah Clean Energy:

I think that the Solar Innovation Network is brilliant and I think that we'll be able to share information during this 18-month period to dig deeper into what a completely different system could look like.

Chris Castro:

I'm most excited about connecting with other peers who are just as passionate about a renewable energy future and playing a small role in moving my city forward towards a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable community.