AES Distributed Energy, Inc., a subsidiary of the AES Corporation, and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative have announced the execution of a power purchase agreement for an innovative plant that will provide solar energy together with the benefits of battery-based energy storage for optimal balancing of generation with peak demand.
The project consists of 28 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 20 MW five-hour duration energy storage system. The system will be located on former sugar land between Lawai and Koloa on Kauai's south shore. It will be the largest solar-plus-utility-scale-battery system in the state of Hawaiʻi.
The project is pending state and local regulatory approvals. If approved, the project is expected to come on-line by late 2018. AES DE will be the long-term owner and operator of the project.
Woody Rubin, President of AES Distributed Energy said:
“We are honored that KIUC has selected AES to help meet their peak demand with a flexible and reliable renewable energy solution. We are excited to be able to leverage AES’ industry-leading energy storage platform, and 20 plus-year history in Hawai’i in order to help KIUC modernize the grid and provide additional value to its customers.”
KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell said:
“Energy from the project will be priced at 11 cents per kWh and will provide 11 percent of Kauaʻi’s electric generation, increasing KIUC’s renewable sourced generation to well over 50 percent. The project delivers power to the island’s electrical grid at significantly less than the current cost of oil-fired power and should help stabilize and even reduce electric rates to KIUC’s members.
It is remarkable that we are able to obtain fixed pricing for dispatchable solar-based renewable energy, backed by a significant battery system, at about half the cost of what a basic direct to grid solar project cost a few years ago.”