Pika Energy Inc., a Westbrook manufacturer of power electronics, small wind turbines and solar equipment, has won a $875,000 grant from the federal Department of Energy to improve technology for managing electric grids and to take advantage of renewable energy sources.

“This is another great example of how clean-energy companies in Maine are developing new technology and creating good-paying jobs in our state,” said Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, on Wednesday. “We have what it takes to be a leader in clean energy and I’m glad the federal government is stepping up to help support the development of this industry.”

The grant is part of the energy department’s SunShot initiative, aimed at improving the efficiency of solar energy installations. Pika will use the funding to further develop technology it has created to help manage distributed energy systems – such as solar arrays – and integrate them into the electric grid.

The technology also allows for smart control of electric loads, so electric consumers can take advantage of the power available during peak supply periods when prices are lower.

“We’re thrilled to work with the U.S. Department of Energy on this exciting project, which will leverage Pika’s technology to take a big step toward a smarter, cleaner grid,” said Ben Polito, Pika Energy’s president and co-founder.

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