AES, KIUC begin construction on 28MW solar-plus-storage system in Hawaii

AES Distributed Energy (AES DE) and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) have started construction of the Lāwa’i solar and energy storage project on Kauai’s south shore in Hawaii.

The project consists of 28 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 100 MWh five-hour duration energy storage system, and will contribute significantly to the State of Hawaii’s goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

AES Distributed Energy president Woody Rubin said: “AES has had a presence in Hawaii for more the 25 years, and this first-of-its-kind project demonstrates our continued commitment to the state’s vision of a cleaner energy future.

“This innovative project will help reduce Kauai’s reliance on fossil fuels while generating clean, reliable and affordable energy.”

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 Hawaii and one of the biggest storage systems in the world.

KIUC president and CEO David Bissell said: “The project will provide 11 percent of Kauai’s electric generation; increasing KIUC’s renewable sourced generation to close to 60 percent.

“At 11 cents per kWh, the pricing is well below the cost of diesel and will not only provide downward pressure on rates, but also helps us avoid the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel each year,” stated KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell.

“Projects like this are possible because we’ve forged partnerships with landowners like A&B and proven industry leaders such as AES. Credit is also due to our Board of Directors for setting bold strategic goals, and of course to our member-owners for their support.”

Incorporating advanced technologies like battery-based energy storage will benefit those who live and visit Hawaii, providing the island with safe, reliable and higher-quality power and a more resilient grid.

This system will provide dispatchable renewable solar energy with the ability to deliver consistent peak power output for up to five hours outside of daytime hours while preserving the ability to provide energy directly to the grid during daytime hours.

AES DE will be the long-term owner and operator of the project.