According to Pacific Business News, Tesla Energy batteries will be used for a SolarCity solar farm and energy storage system which is being developed for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) in Kaua’i, Hawaiʻi.
The Tesla Energy batteries will supply a 52 MWh utility-scale energy storage system in order to help KIUC meet evening peak demand, which typically occurs between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm. The storage system will be located at a 12 MW solar farm.
Of its commitment to solar energy, KIUC president and CEO David Bissell has said, “No other utility in the US has a higher percentage of large-scale solar on its grid than KIUC.”
It is hoped the solar farm and storage capacity will help KIUC further reduce fossil fuel use. SolarCity said it would charge the utility 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for power from the batteries in a 20-year arrangement. News of the solar storage deal was reported in September 2015.
This project awaits approval from the state’s regulator, the Public Utilities’ Commission. SolarCity and KIUC asked last year for permission to accelerate development, so that it could begin by April this year, when existing ITC (investment tax credit) rates were due to drop.
As much as 95% of daytime demand on Kauai is met by solar at present but KIUC has targeted extending this number into the evening hours. When all is said and done, SolarCity’s grid-connected project will provide the 52 MWh utility-scale battery facility, built to distribute up to 13 MW of solar power.
“That a small co-op on Kaua‘i can become a world and national leader in energy transformation in such a brief time is something all of our members can be proud of and celebrate,” said Bissell.
Expect many others to be tracking the progress of this development.
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