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A total of 272 Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion batteries provide for 52 megawatt hours of solar dispatch during Kauaʻi’s evening peak.

KIUC First in the Nation for Solar Storage Capacity per Customer

News Release from KIUC

Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i, HI – 08/06/2019 – Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative led the nation again in 2018 for interconnection of energy storage watts per customer (Wh/C), and ranked second in annual energy storage capacity, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).

In 2018, KIUC posted more than 3,000 Wh/C, nearly six times more than the next ranked utility: Sterling Municipal Light Department in Massachusetts. This is the second year running that KIUC topped the list of storage watts per customer.

For annual energy storage capacity, KIUC ranked behind Southern California Edison, and logged more than 30% more megawatt hours (MWh) capacity than Pacific Gas and Electric, which ranked third.

The rankings were included in SEPA’s 2019 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot, which was released today. The report tracks the amount of solar power interconnected to the grid each year, and also collects energy storage and demand response deployment data. According to SEPA, the participating utilities represent more than 82 million customer accounts, or approximately 56% of all customer accounts throughout the U.S.

“The addition of the AES Lāwaʻi solar plus storage facility launched KIUC significantly forward in the rankings,” said KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. “Combined with the Tesla facility, which opened in 2017, we are now able to meet 40% of our evening peak with stored solar power.” The Tesla facility, located in Kapaia, can store 52 MWh daily. AES Lāwaʻi stores up to 100 MWh for use during nighttime peak or as needed.

KIUC’s Board of Directors has set a strategic goal of reaching 70% renewable generation by 2030. So far in 2019, KIUC is generating 55% of its electricity from renewables. One additional solar-storage project is under construction with AES in Kekaha at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, and is expected to be complete in 2020. The addition of AES/PMRF will push KIUC’s renewable generation to more than 60%.

“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.”

The full SEPA report can be accessed at: www.sepapower.org.

  *   *   *   *   *  

Hawaii utilities rank high nationally for energy storage

News Release from Hawaiian Electric

HONOLULU, August 8, 2019 – Hawaii Electric Light Company ranked seventh and Hawaiian Electric Company was eighth nationally for connecting the most energy storage per customer to their grids in 2018, earning spots on the annual Top 10 utility industry list compiled by the national nonprofit Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).

Energy storage is essential to increasing renewable energy in the islands, allowing excess solar electricity generated during the day to be available for use either when the sun is no longer shining or to support grid reliability.

Hawaii Electric Light connected 95.2 watts per customer and Hawaiian Electric added 76.3 watts per customer in 2018. Kauai Island Utility Cooperative led the category with 3,037.6 watts per customer.

Hawaiian Electric Company also placed ninth nationally for annual megawatt-hours of electric storage with 23.3 MWh added in 2018. KIUC placed second with 102.0 MWh.

“The people of Hawaii and their utilities have long been national leaders in adding solar generation per customer and now continues among leaders nationally in solar storage, a key element to making solar power work for all customers," said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for business development and strategic planning and a member of the SEPA board of directors.

“We are proud to still rank high as many other utilities have added renewable generation and energy storage. We will continue dramatically increasing both as we move closer to 100 percent clean energy for our state by 2045 or earlier,” Alberts said.

Julia Hamm, SEPA president and CEO, said: “The utilities in the Top 10 are truly spearheading the progress we’ve seen in the electric sector this past year …It goes beyond just energy storage – they are implementing replicable business models and paving the way to a clean and modern energy future, something that won’t be possible without utilities’ leadership and cooperation.”

The 12th Annual Utility Market Survey collected information from over 500 utilities across the country. Full Top 10 listings are online at https://sepapower.org/2019-top-10-winners/.

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