The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Wednesday an investment of up to $11.8 million for five projects to develop the integration of solar technologies into the U.S. electrical grid.

The five groups that will run the projects are PVPowered of Bend, Oregon; Petra Solar of South Plainfield, New Jersey; Princeton Power of Princeton, New Jersey; Apollo Solar of Bethel, Connecticut; and and Florida Solar Energy Center of the University of Central Florida of Orlando.

"By integrating renewable energy onto the grid now, we can deliver power more reliably and effectively, lower utility bills for American families, and help rebuild our economy along the way,' Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement on Wednesday.

The DOE said the projects are designed to advance the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems program to the next stage. The SEGIS was created in 2008 to maintain or improve power quality and reliability.