Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has partnered with GE's Grid Solutions business to launch a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) to advance integration of distributed energy resources such as solar and battery storage.

As part of the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) programme, PG&E will launch multiple technology demonstration projects in San Jose, California. The programme will allow the company to work with other investor-owned utilities in the state and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop smart grid technology demonstration and deployment programmes.

The new DERMS system will interact with residential battery storage systems to evaluate whether and how customer-sited energy storage can be used to operationally support the grid during periods of high-demand, PG&E said in a statement.

The project will demonstrate how smart inverters and energy storage can be used with DERMS to optimise electric distribution.

"The programme will allow the company to work to develop smart grid technology demonstration and deployment programmes."

Expected to begin in September this year, the demonstration will be carried out until December 2017.

PG&E Electric's president Geisha Williams said: "The rapid growth of distributed energy resources has ushered in a new era of electric distribution and we're seeing the smarter grid emerging as a reliability, storage and interconnection system that compliments the new energy technologies that our customers are using in their homes.

“As this dynamic, two-way operating environment develops, PG&E continues to embrace and test innovative technologies that improve electric reliability and equip our customers with valuable services and products that support their choices to adopt clean energy.”

Enphase Energy will install and test smart inverters, while SolarCity will install and test smart inverters and battery storage systems for private solar customers.