Hawaiian Electric Companies among top utilities in nation for energy storage
News Release from Hawaiian Electric Companies
HONOLULU, April 25, 2018 - Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light companies are among utilities that led the nation in connecting energy storage to their grids in 2017, earning top spots on the annual Top 10 utility industry lists compiled by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).
- Maui Electric ranked third in energy storage with an accumulated 36.5 watts per customer and ninth in annual energy storage megawatts added in 2017 at 2.6 MW
- Hawaii Electric Light ranked seventh at 16.4 watts per customer of energy storage
- Hawaiian Electric ranked tenth in annual energy storage megawatts added with 2.2 MW
In addition, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative led the nation with a total 415.3 watts per customer and was fifth in annual megawatts added in 2017 with 13.7MW.
Awards are given in four categories: Top 10 utilities for most new solar megawatts and most new watts per customer, and Top 10 utilities for most new storage megawatts and most accumulated storage watts per customer. Winners in all categories were recognized at SEPA's Utility Conference, this year being held in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Historically, utilities in Hawaii have been in the vanguard, among the top utilities for solar watts added or solar watts per customer. Other utilities are now experiencing higher levels of private-rooftop and grid-scale solar and Hawaii electric utilities are leading in the next stage of clean energy evolution, that is, energy storage at customer sites or in grid-scale projects often attached to wind and solar projects.
The 11th annual survey collected figures from more than 400 utilities across the country on solar, energy storage and demand response connected to the grid in 2017 and since 2007 for solar.
"This year's Top 10 lists reflect a pivotal moment in the U.S. energy transition, as utilities increasingly focus on solar and storage as distributed resources providing value to customers and the grid," said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of SEPA.
"Beyond their impressive numbers, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light embody a strong model for innovation and leadership that utilities across the country will continue to build on as we move toward a clean, smart and resilient energy future," she said.
The full Top 10 listings are available online at www.sepatop10.org.
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the utility industry's transition to a clean energy future through education, research, standards and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is founder and co-sponsor of Solar Power International and winner of the Keystone Policy Center's 2016 Leadership in Energy Award.
For more information, visit www.sepapower.org. Follow SEPA on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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KIUC First in the Nation for Solar Storage Capacity per Customer
News Release from KIUC, April 25, 2018
Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i, HI – 04/25/2018 – Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative added more energy storage watts per customer during 2017 than any other utility in the nation, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).
SEPA today announced its annual Top 10 lists recognizing the U.S. utilities that added the most new solar and energy storage to the grid in 2017. Compiled as part of SEPA’s 11th annual Utility Market Survey, the lists include the top utilities in four categories: new solar megawatts and watts per customer, and new energy storage megawatts and watts per customer. The survey collected figures from over 400 utilities across the country.
Largely due to the Tesla solar-plus-storage facility that opened in March 2017, KIUC added 415.3 watts of storage per customer in 2017, more than eight times as much storage as second place honoree Tucson Electric Power.
“Battery storage is a key part of our cooperative’s push towards 100% renewable and we are pleased that KIUC is leading the way in using battery technology to move solar energy into our evening peak demand period,” stated KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. He noted that KIUC was also ranked #5 on the SEPA top ten list of annual megawatts of utility energy storage.
The Tesla plant in Kapaia was the largest utility-scale storage-plus-solar facility in the world when it opened in March 2017. The plant stores energy in 272 lithium-ion Tesla Powerpack batteries during the day, enabling KIUC to dispatch up to 52 megawatt hours of power during the evening peak. By the end of 2017, the addition of the Tesla facility allowed KIUC to reach 46 percent renewable generation.
KIUC’s Board of Directors has set a strategic goal of reaching 70 percent renewable generation by 2030. Two additional solar-storage projects that are in development with AES are expected to push KIUC’s renewable generation to more than 60 percent by the end of 2019. “All of these projects are being procured via long-term purchase agreements at prices well below the current cost of oil,” said Bissell. “This provides us with pricing stability and a downward pressure on rates over time.”
This year’s Top 10 lists -- both solar and storage -- are based on data provided by 412 utilities, which together serve more than 90 million customers across the United States. The full lists in all categories can be found at: www.sepatop10.org.
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KGI: KIUC on Top Largely due to the Tesla solar-plus-storage facility that opened in March 2017