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Kahuku Wind battery system solid in first year of use

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The battery system installed at the 30-megawatt Kahuku Wind project performed exceptionally during its first year of operation, officials from the system’s manufacturer said today.

Since its commissioning in March 2011 the 15-megawatt battery system has charged and discharged more than 1.9 gigawatt hours of energy, an amount equal to the electricity consumed by about 190 average homes in one year, according to officials from Xtreme Power.

The battery system has the ability to smooth output from Kahuku Wind to within plus or minus 1 megawatt per minute. By absorbing or releasing power as needed the battery delivers a steady supply of power to the Hawaiian Electric Company’s electrical grid.

“Xtreme Power’s energy storage system has proven to be an important component to facilitating more efficient operations at Kahuku Wind,” said Michael Alvarez, president of Boston-based First Wind, which developed the Kahuku wind project.

He said battery systems are particularly useful when incorporating intermittent renewable energy sources into island-based grids.

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