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Grid-Scale Vanadium Flow Energy Storage System to be Installed at NELHA

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA), Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO), Ulupono Initiative and UniEnergy Technologies (UET) announced today their intent to install a 100kW/500kWh advanced vanadium energy storage system later this year at the Hawai‘i Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST Park) administered by NELHA.

UET’s modular ReFlexTM energy storage system (ESS) is planned to be in operation at the NELHA Gateway Center early next year. The ESS utilizes advanced vanadium flow battery technology and was developed by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Vanadium flow batteries have a longer life cycle than common lead acid or lithium-ion batteries. With regular maintenance, they can last more than 20 years and operate in very warm weather without much need for cooling to optimize performance.

“This effort builds upon the various initiatives by the County of Hawaii, Hawaii Electric Light Company, U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity, Sandia National Laboratories and NELHA to partner, share resources, and attract companies interested in testing and evaluating energy storage systems on the Island of Hawaii,” said Gregory Barbour, NELHA Executive Director. “NELHA is very grateful to Dr. Imre Gyuk, Director of the U.S. DOE energy storage program, for his very strong support and guidance to formulate this project.”

“Long duration flow batteries are particularly suitable for island systems to serve as a buffer between the load, variable renewable generation, and expensive fossil fuel generation, allowing for more effective asset utilization”, said Dr. Gyuk.

In 2017, more than 56 percent of the electricity generated on Hawaii Island comes from renewable resources like solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal. Integrating increasing amounts of renewable energy to an island grid is challenging.

“Electricity from renewable resources is produced when the resource is available and not necessarily when it’s needed. To maintain grid stability and prevent an oversupply situation, it’s critical that we have the tools to control and balance the energy supply with customer demand,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president. “Energy storage is one of several solutions we’re considering. This partnership allows us to test a variety of applications for current and future renewable energy interconnections while maintaining high standards of safety and reliability.”

“The UET advanced vanadium ESS can provide many benefits such as improved grid stability through frequency, voltage and reactive power control as well as dispatch capability of distributed renewable energy,” said Gary Yang, UET CEO. “This battery technology is long-lasting, safe, recyclable, and cost effective.”

The ESS installation is funded in part by Ulupono Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity, and Hawaii Electric Light. NELHA is providing the land and will connect the ESS to its data acquisition system.

“Ulupono is pleased to participate in this project,” said Kyle Datta, Ulupono Initiative’s general partner. “Installing adequate grid-scale storage is an important step in furthering Hawaii’s energy resiliency and increasing the amount of highly variable solar energy that can be integrated into the Hawaii island grid.”

Sandia National Laboratories will provide technical consulting and conduct research to analyze how a flow battery performs in an island climate and on an island grid. “The more installations we have of various energy storage technologies, the more we learn and disseminate,” said Dan Borneo, Sandia National Laboratories’ ESS demonstration program lead. “This will help the energy storage industry proliferate.”

NEHLA and County of Hawaii Host Energy Storage Conference

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) announced today that it is partnering with the County of Hawaii to host a conference on energy storage trends and opportunities in Kailua-Kona on Sept. 12 and 13.

The NEHLA Plant from above

The NEHLA Plant from above

”As the state works to reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2045, energy storage will be necessary to address increasing amounts of variable resources brought into the grid,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “This conference will bring together experts from U.S. National Laboratories, academia, government and industry to present energy storage technologies and applications and consider opportunities and challenges.”

“We are excited about the caliber of the speakers that will be presenting,” said Gregory Barbour, NELHA’s executive director. “This conference brings together experienced scientists, engineers, and policymakers to discuss energy storage and microgrid initiatives, issues and projects. This is an area that is not only at the forefront of renewable energy but also critical to widespread implementation of intermittent renewable technologies such as solar and wind technologies.”

The conference, which is supported in part by the County of Hawaii, includes presentations and panel discussions as well as visits to site demonstrations. It aims to have the latest information presented by leaders in energy storage technology, particularly on the economics of energy storage. Meeting participants will also discuss opportunities as well as regulatory and policy issues.

“We are pleased to partner with NELHA on this conference in an effort to bring leaders in the field of energy storage to the Island of Hawaii to share their insight and explore opportunities” stated Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Hawaii Island is already generating 50 percent renewable energy and grid-scale energy storage is certainly part of the equation for building towards our 100 percent goal”.

Attendance to the conference is open to the public.

Registration information is located at: nelhaenergystorage2016.hawaii-conference.com/.

Hawaiian Electric Company President and CEO to Speak at Next Exceptional Energy Lecture Series at NEHLA

Friends of NELHA (FON) will host the fourth in a series of free lectures regarding energy at the NELHA Gateway Visitor Center on Monday, April 7.

NEHLA

Makai side of the NEHLA plant

Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., President and CEO Dick Rosenblum will be the featured speaker and presenting “Energy Resource Optimization:  What’s Best for  Hawaii?” The Exceptional Energy Lecture Series events start at 5:30 pm and admission is free.

Dick Rosenblum was named president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian  Electric Company, Inc. in 2009. He has 32 years of experience in all facets of the utility business at Southern  California Edison (SCE), one of the largest electric utilities in  California. He retired from SCE in June 2008 as senior vice president of generation and chief nuclear officer responsible for all power generating facilities, including nuclear and related fuel supplies.

During that tenure, Rosenblum helped initiate one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic projects which aimed to install 250 megawatts of solar generating capacity on commercial rooftops in Southern California.

Previously, he served as senior vice president of SCE’s transmission and distribution business unit, responsible for high-voltage bulk transmission and retail  distribution of electricity in their 50,000 square mile service territory of 4.6 million customers.  He has also held the positions of vice president of engineering and technical services responsible for engineering construction, safety oversight, and other engineering support activities; and vice president of SCE’s distribution business unit, including responsibility for customer service.

Originally from New York, he has also been a part-time resident of Hawai‘i Island for more than 20 years.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rosenblum serves on the board of Aloha United Way (Board Chair); Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America; Hawai‘i Business Roundtable and High Technology  Development  Corporation.

The Exceptional Energy Lecture Series consists of five lectures on energy issues. The series is sponsored in part by the Hawaii Energy Resource Center, a component of the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development.

Call FON at 808.329.8073 for more information on the Exceptional Energy Lecture Series.