comscore HECO puts utility-scale battery system into service | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Business Breaking | Top News

HECO puts utility-scale battery system into service

Hawaiian Electric Co. said today it has added its largest battery to Oahu’s electric grid as the utility looks to make space for more renewables.

HECO put into service its first utility-scale energy storage system for a 2-year demonstration. The one-megawatt battery from Wyoming-based Altairnano is housed in a large shipping container at Campbell Industrial Park.

The purpose of the demonstration is to test the energy storage system’s safety and capability to help connect more renewable energy to the grid.

Shelee Kimura, vice president for corporate planning and business development at HECO, said in a statement the installation will help get the state closer to its goal to have 100 percent of its energy coming from renewable energy resources.

“To achieve our 100 percent renewable energy goal, we need to be able to smooth power flowing to the grid from variable renewable generation like wind and solar as well as shift electricity generated when the sun is shining to when people use the most electricity in the evening,” she said.

HECO said the battery can go from zero to full power output in a fraction of a second providing up to 250 kilowatts of power for one hour or one megawatt for 15 minutes. During the demonstration, HECO is testing control algorithms that may be used in even larger batteries for power smoothing, voltage regulation and frequency response.

“It is not just if it works but how it works, and how you balance performance with durability,” HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg said.

HECO is working with the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute on a similar project in operation on Hawaii island for wind smoothing and frequency regulation. Another has been installed at Maui Electric Co.’s Palaau Power Plant on Molokai and is being tested to provide energy and stability to that island’s grid should a generator go offline.

“We are working on these capabilities both with larger, utility-scale systems … and with ‘behind-the-meter’ batteries at business and residential customer sites, all working in unison to make clean power work,” Kimura said.

Comments (8)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • I know this is a demonstration project, but I hope part of the process is determining how the battery will be disposed of once it reaches the end of it’s usable life. We already pay to have our car batteries disposed of on the Mainland I believe. Disposing of a shipping container sized battery will be exponentially more difficult.

  • Hawaii should already be testing the latest US design of the flywheel energy storage system. Just search for Beacon Power and their 20MW flywheel frequency regulation system in Hazle, Pennsylvania. Think cost was like $40 million, which is what Hawaii taxpayers paid for steel rails alone for the Oahu rail project. Downside is these flywheels can spin really fast and if they fail could explode with a lot of force. Which is why flywheel unit are partially buried under ground and would assume is encasement is well designed to not allow projectile to fly far or to destroy neighboring flywheels. Just put it out in Schofield so that there are not close homes or buildings nearby. Seems flywheel technology is “greener” than lithium battery storage

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up