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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will invest up to $50 million over five years in nine demonstration projects competitively selected to increase efficiency in the nation's electricity grid - subject to appropriations from Congress.

The Renewable and Distributed Systems Integration (RDSI) technologies demonstrated in these projects would reduce peak load electricity demand by at least 15% at distribution feeders. Negotiations with selected applicants will begin immediately to determine final project plans and funding levels.

The funding will include $15 million for the University of Hawaii, in cooperation with General Electric, Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc., Maui Electric Co., Columbus Electric Coop., New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Sentech and UPC Wind, to explore the management of distribution system resources for improved service quality and reliability, transmission congestion relief and grid support functions.

A $9.4 million project will allow Allegheny Power and its project partners to improve distribution system performance, reliability and security of electric supply through the integration of distributed resources and advanced technologies.

Other project goals include:
- integrating renewable generation and energy storage resources, including compressed-air generation technology, wind turbines, heat recovery systems, solar trough booster technology, a steam turbine and hydro-turbine resources, and
- proving the effectiveness of integrating multiple distributed energy resources with advanced controls and communication systems to improve stability and reduce peak loads on feeders/substations.

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