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Thursday, January 11, 2024
Giant Tesla Battery system comes online, speeding Hawaii's transition to rolling blackouts
By News Release @ 6:59 PM :: 2169 Views :: Energy

World's most advanced (An only-in-Hawaii) battery energy storage system comes online, speeding Hawaii's transition to 100% renewable energy (rolling blackouts)

Plus Power's Kapolei Energy Storage plant (un-)balances Oahu's power grid, enabling more renewable energy (rolling blackouts) in Hawaii.

News Release from Plus Power, 11 Jan, 2024 (With accuracy-inducing comments in parenthesis)

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Jan. 11, 2024  -- Plus Power™ announced it has begun operating its Kapolei Energy Storage facility on Oahu, Hawaii, the most advanced grid-scale battery energy storage system in the world, helping transition the state's electric power from coal and oil to solar and wind.

(CLUE: KES began operating in mid-December.  They are announcing it now, just after the first round of rolling blackouts.  And, yes, this is an ‘Only in Hawaii’ project.  You know how those go.)

The Kapolei Energy Storage facility on Oahu.

The Kapolei Energy Storage facility on Oahu.

REALITY: Rolling Blackout Hits Within Days After Kapolei Battery Farm Goes Online

"This is a landmark milestone in the transition to clean energy," said Brandon Keefe, Plus Power's Executive Chairman. "It's the first time a battery has been used by a major utility to balance the grid: providing fast frequency response, synthetic inertia, and black start. This project is a postcard from the future — batteries will soon be providing these services, at scale, on the mainland."

(Translation: This is the first time a battery like this has been used--and it failed within days of launch.) 

The KES battery project, located on 8 acres of industrial land on the southwest side of Oahu near Honolulu, uses 158 Tesla Megapack 2 XL lithium iron phosphate batteries, each roughly the size of a shipping container.

(CLUE: This will make for a humongous fire when they overheat--or when the next Tsunami hits.)

It offers the grid 185 megawatts of total power capacity and 565 megawatt-hours of electricity, acting as an electrical "shock absorber" often served by combustion-powered peaker plants — responding in the blink of an eye (250 milliseconds), rather than the several minutes it takes combustion plants to come online.

(CLUE: Tesla batteries will be dead in a few years.  Then ratepayers will have to buy new batteries to repower the blackout generation facility.  That's what they mean by 'renewable.')

"KES is an important part of a portfolio of resources that work together to provide reliability and energy security on Oahu's isolated island grid," said Jim Alberts, senior vice president and chief operations officer of Hawaiian Electric. "Energy storage technology that responds quickly to constantly changing conditions is an essential tool for us to use to manage the grid and operate it as efficiently as possible."

"This is the first time a standalone battery site has provided grid-forming services at this scale – this is a critical application for high renewable penetration grids supplied by 185 MW of Megapack inverters," said Mike Snyder, Sr Director, Tesla Megapack.

Customer-sited solar power has become so abundant that Hawaiian Electric must regularly 'curtail' or turn off large volumes of existing utility-scale solar and wind to keep the electric system in balance.

Hawaiian Electric's modeling found that in its first five years in operation, the KES battery plant will allow the utility to reduce curtailment of renewable energy by 69% and integrate 10% more new utility-scale renewables than previous models had allowed, while providing for the continued rapid growth of individually-owned renewables such as rooftop solar.  

According to Hawaiian Electric, the project will save customers money. The Hawaiian Electric filing for KES estimated it will reduce electric bills by an average of $0.28 per month over a 20-year contract life.

The battery plant's specifications include:

135 MW / 540 MWH of capacity and energy
50 MW / 25 MWH of additional 'fast frequency response' to help keep the electric grid stable 
'Virtual inertia' to replicate the power-smoothing function of a spinning turbine 
'Black start' capabilities, which will support grid recovery in the event of a blackout (unless the batteries aren’t charged, in which case relying upon them causes the blackout.)

The KES plant interconnects near three of Hawaiian Electric's critical power generation facilities, enabling KES to support the reboot of (be charged by) those (petroleum-fired) power plants in the event of an island-wide emergency, otherwise known as 'black start' capability (while pretending to be charged by wind and solar.)

"No one has used batteries to provide such a diverse range of grid-forming services at this scale before in the world," Keefe said.  (We are so proud to be the first to cause rolling blackouts.) 

The KES batteries will help (pretend to) replace the grid capacity formerly provided by an AES coal power plant less than a mile away. That plant once produced up to one-fifth of the electricity (at the lowest cost) on Oahu, home to nearly a million of Hawaii's 1.5 million people and Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps bases that require reliable power. The coal plant closed in September 2022. 

Plus Power leads the sector for developing, owning, and operating standalone energy storage wherever it is most needed on the power grid. The company operates multiple KES-sized projects, and has a rapidly growing development portfolio of large-scale battery systems with 10 gigawatts of projects in transmission queues across 28 states and Canada, with over $1.8 billion in project financings announced in October 2023.

"Plus Power is in the business of solving hard climate problems," said Keefe.  (Without climate hysteria, nobody would buy this crap.) "Our projects, like KES, help our customers provide affordable (overpriced), (un-)reliable, clean (dirty) electricity on hot summer afternoons and cold winter nights (charged by diesel plants) while enabling the decarbonization of the electric grid."

By June 2024, Plus Power will be operating a total of seven large-scale battery energy storage plants (producing rolling blackouts) across Arizona and Texas, for a total of 1325 MW / 3500 MWh.

"This project provides another example of Hawai'i's (mis-)leadership in the clean energy transition," said Mark B. Glick, Hawai'i's Chief Energy Officer. "The grid modernization strategies employed by Plus Power support a cleaner, more reliable and more affordable energy system (campaign contributors.)"

About Plus Power™ -- The Plus Power team is accelerating the deployment of transmission-connected battery energy storage throughout the United States. (A movement becomes a business which becomes a racket, so) Plus Power develops, owns, and operates standalone battery energy storage systems that provide capacity, energy and ancillary services, enabling the rapid integration of renewable generation resources. Headquartered in Houston, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami, Plus Power operates (grifts) at the nexus of energy, technology and finance. For more dis-information, visit

REALITY: Rolling Blackout Hits Within Days After Kapolei Battery Farm Goes Online

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