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PG&E tests storage systems, EV charging station mapping

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. on April 5 touted strides in performance and customer value from technological advancements made through its Electric Program Investment Charge, or EPIC.

The PG&E Corp. utility completed 14 technology demonstration projects as part of EPIC in 2016 paving the way for smarter energy infrastructure. Projects in PG&E's 2016 EPIC annual report include direct current fast charge mapping, energy storage for market operations and close proximity switching.

Direct current fast charge mapping enabled customers to identify optimal locations for electric vehicle charging within PG&E's service territory based on factors such as cost, available infrastructure, traffic patterns, and site host and driver preference.

The energy storage project tested how large-scale battery storage systems perform in the CAISO market. Additionally, the utility worked with robotic tool suppliers through the close proximity switching program to design a robot that could substantially increase the safety of workers who operate underground equipment.

The program will help meet the state's clean energy goals while increasing the safety, reliability and affordability of grid operations, the company said.