Largest solar+storage system in Hawaii to come online in 2018

AES Distributed Energy, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) announced today the execution of a PPA for an innovative plant that will provide solar energy together with the benefits of battery-based energy storage for optimal balancing of generation with peak demand. The project consists of 28 megawatts of PV and a 20-MW five-hour-duration energy storage system.

The system will be located on former sugar land between Lawai and Koloa on Kauai’s south shore. It will be the largest solar-plus-utility-scale-battery system in the state of Hawaii and one of the biggest storage systems in the world.

“We are honored that KIUC has selected AES to help meet their peak demand with a flexible and reliable renewable energy solution,” said Woody Rubin, president of AES Distributed Energy. “We are excited to be able to leverage AES’s industry-leading energy storage platform, and 20-plus-year history in Hawaii in order to help KIUC modernize the grid and provide additional value to its customers.”

“Energy from the project will be priced at 11 cents per kWh and will provide 11% of Kauai’s electric generation, increasing KIUC’s renewable-sourced generation to well over 50%,” said KIUC’s president and CEO, David Bissell. “The project delivers power to the island’s electrical grid at significantly less than the current cost of oil-fired power and should help stabilize and even reduce electric rates to KIUC’s members. It is remarkable that we are able to obtain fixed pricing for dispatchable solar-based renewable energy, backed by a significant battery system, at about half the cost of what a basic direct-to-grid solar project cost a few years ago.” Bissell estimates that the project will reduce KIUC’s fossil fuel usage by over 3.7 million gallons yearly.

AES DE will be the long-term owner and operator of the project. The company is committed to providing innovative renewable energy solutions to its utility, corporate and governmental customers. AES continues to pioneer the use of energy storage on the electric grid, starting with the first grid-scale advanced energy storage project installed in 2008. AES now operates one of the largest fleets of battery-based energy storage in the world.

The project is pending state and local regulatory approvals. If approved, the project is expected to come online by late 2018.

News item from AES Distributed Energy