Battery storage is helping Hawaii’s Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) reach its goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030 — and quickly.
According to utilitydive.com, as recently as 2011, more than 90% of KIUC’s energy was coming from diesel generation. But because of battery storage, the utility is able to accelerate its plans to transition away from fossil fuels. KIUC has said that by the end of next year, the utility will be able to supply approximately 65% of Kauai’s nighttime peak load with stored solar generated energy.
Last week, the cooperative announced it had secured approval from state regulators to purchase power from a 19.3 MW solar project, which will be paired with a 70 MWh battery. The sheer scale of the battery storage initiative means the solar project will be able to deliver power from the sun overnight.
As pv-magazine-usa.com writes, the solar+battery project will be built by AES on land leased from a US Navy base, and will provide power to KIUC for 10.83 cents per kilowatt-hour under a 25-year power contract. “Given the relative capacity of the battery to the solar, this is in impressively low price, and KIUC notes that this will be one of the lowest-cost power sources on an island that has been traditionally dependent on expensive imported fuel.”
Hawaii as a whole is targeting 100% renewable energy by 2045.
In other battery storage news, Arizona Public Service and First Solarrecently announced they are bringing a first-of-its-kind 50-megawatt solar-fueled battery to the desert to provide clean power to Arizonans on hot summer days. This project will make Arizona home to one of the largest battery storage systems in the country. The innovative design models how the future of solar and storage can work together to deliver power to customers during peak hours.