July 30, 2009

Merkley, Wyden Announce Up to $3 Million for Solar Energy Partnership in Bend

Department of Energy Award Includes Funding from Recovery Act

WASHINGTON D.C. - Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that a partnership involving PV Powered, a manufacturer of photovoltaic solar inverters in Bend, Oregon, will receive up to $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop solar energy grid integration systems (SEGIS). A portion of that funding will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Every day, we're seeing countries like China and India pour resources into the development of clean energy technology," Merkley said. "To stay competitive in the world market and restore America's long-term economic stability, the United States must transition to a clean energy economy. The key will be making investments in American clean energy jobs like those being created at PV Powered in Bend."

"Finding ways to connect solar power technology to our electric grid and bringing new, high-paying jobs into Oregon is a win-win no matter how you slice it," Wyden said. "This funding will continue Oregon's reputation as an alternative energy powerhouse and improve our economy at the same time."

PV Powered's project will optimize critical tools and techniques for connecting an array of different solar electric systems to the electricity grid.

PV Powered will be partnering with Portland General Electric (Portland, OR), South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD), and Northern Plains Power Technologies (Brookings, SD), Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (Pullman, WA), SENSUS (Raleigh, NC) for the project. PV Powered was first selected to receive an award through the SEGIS program in September 2008.

According to the DOE, the selected projects focus on the most promising technology advances and include development of intelligent system controls. These projects ultimately seek to maintain or improve power quality and reliability, as well as return economic value, while increasing integration of solar technologies into the U.S. electrical grid.

PV Powered was founded in 2003 and is the largest manufacturer of solar power inverter technology in the United States.