• AES Corporation has successfully put into operation a 28 MW solar PV with 100 MWh energy storage project having 5-hour storage capacity in Hawaii
  • KIUC of Hawaii will procure clean power from this project for $0.11080 per kWh for a period of 25 years
  • The facility will help the island of Kaua’i achieve more than 50% renewables capacity

Hawaii is now home to a 28 MW solar PV project with 100 MWh of storage capacity for 5 hours, which the US state calls the world’s largest operational solar and storage system.

“Taken as a whole, Lawai’s storage capacity outranks any other operational solar-paired battery system in the world,” according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. “But the ever-growing solar-plus-storage project pipeline means that title won’t be safe for long.”

The AES Corporation and the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) inaugurated the Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project in the Lawai area. It is projected to help Hawaii meet its goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045. The new PV peaker plant will deliver close to 11% of Kaua’i’s power making the island more than 50% powered by renewables, said AES that commissioned the project through AES Distributed Energy.

The facility allows for solar power to supply the grid as the battery system gets charged, it also dispatches stored power to the grid during peak demand periods and can also dispatch solar and battery power simultaneously to answer spikes in demand in addition to supporting the grid through provision of ancillary services. “While many other systems coexist but are not tied together, this project fully integrates all the components into one system,” said AES President and CEO Andrés Gluski in a blog.

KIUC will procure power from this facility for a tariff of $0.11080 per kWh for 25 years, while AES will own and operate the plant for the utility.

Solar panels from SunPower and 13,000 lithium-ion battery modules were stated to be used for the project according to the Hawaiian government. Construction on the project started in February 2018.

AES said it is constructing another project with 19.3 MW solar PV and 70 MWh battery storage capacity for KIUC on leased land from the US Department of Defense within the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Barking Sands (PMRF) Naval Base.