AES Distributed Energy and KIUC Announce Plan to Construct Innovative Renewable Peaker Plant in Kauaʻi Utilizing a Hybrid Solar and Energy Storage System
AES Distributed Energy, Inc. (AES DE), a subsidiary of The AES Corporation (AES), and Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) announced today the execution of a power purchase agreement (PPA) 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 megawatts (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 20 MW five-hour duration energy storage system.The system will be located on former sugar land between Lāwaʻi and Kōloa on Kauaʻi’s south shore. It will be the largest solar-plus-utility-scale-battery system in the state of Hawaiʻi and one of the biggest storage systems in the world.
“We are honored that KIUC has selected AES to help meet their peak demand with a flexible and reliable renewable energy solution,” said Woody Rubin, President of AES Distributed Energy. “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.”
“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,” said KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. He added, “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.” Bissell estimates that the project will reduce KIUC’s fossil fuel usage by over 3.7 million gallons yearly.
AES DE will be the long-term owner and operator of the project. The company is committed to providing innovative renewable energy solutions to its utility, corporate and governmental customers. AES continues to pioneer the use of energy storage on the electric grid, starting with the first grid-scale advanced energy storage project installed in 2008. AES now operates one of the largest fleets of battery-based energy storage in the world. The project is pending state and local regulatory approvals. If approved, the project is expected to come on-line by late 2018.