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AES, KIUC begin construction of hybrid solar, energy storage system in Hawaii

Published 23 February 2018

AES Distributed Energy (AES DE), a subsidiary of AES and Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) have broken ground for the construction of the Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project on Kauaʻi's south shore.

The project consists of 28 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 100 MWh five-hour duration energy storage system, and will contribute significantly to the State of Hawai’i’s goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

AES Distributed Energy president Woody Rubin said: “AES has had a presence in Hawai?i for more the 25 years, and this first-of-its-kind project demonstrates our continued commitment to the state’s vision of a cleaner energy future.

“This innovative project will help reduce Kauai’s reliance on fossil fuels while generating clean, reliable and affordable energy.”

The system will be located on former sugar land between Lawa?i and Koloa on Kaua?i's south shore. It will be the largest solar-plus-utility-scale-battery system in the state of Hawai?i and one of the biggest storage systems in the world.

KIUC president and CEO David Bissell said: “The project will provide 11 percent of Kaua?i’s electric generation; increasing KIUC’s renewable sourced generation to close to 60%. At 11 cents per kWh, the pricing is well below the cost of diesel and will not only provide downward pressure on rates, but also helps us avoid the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel each year.

“Projects like this are possible because we've forged partnerships with landowners like A&B and proven industry leaders such as AES. Credit is also due to our Board of Directors for setting bold strategic goals, and of course to our member-owners for their support.”

Incorporating advanced technologies like battery-based energy storage will benefit those who live and visit Hawai?i, providing the island with safe, reliable and higher-quality power and a more resilient grid.

This system will provide dispatchable renewable solar energy with the ability to deliver consistent peak power output for up to five hours outside of daytime hours while preserving the ability to provide energy directly to the grid during daytime hours. AES DE will be the long-term owner and operator of the project.

Source: Company Press Release