New Advanced Battery Energy Storage Comes Online in Hawaii

plus power Oahu facility aerial

(Credit: Plus Power)

by | Jan 12, 2024

This article is included in these additional categories:

Plus Power has launched what it said is the most advanced grid-scale battery energy storage system in the world, the Kapolei Energy Storage facility on Oahu, Hawaii.

The facility will help the state’s electric transition from coal and oil to solar and wind. The site provides the grid with 185 megawatts of total power capacity and 565 megawatt-hours of electricity.

The facility is located on 8 acres of industrial land on the southwest side of Oahu near Honolulu. It uses 158 Tesla Megapack 2 XL lithium iron phosphate batteries, which are each about the size of a shipping container.

“This is a landmark milestone in the transition to clean energy,” Brandon Keefe, Plus Power’s executive chairman, said in a statement. “It’s the first time a battery has been used by a major utility to balance the grid: providing fast frequency response, synthetic inertia, and black start. This project is a postcard from the future — batteries will soon be providing these services, at scale, on the mainland.” 

Use of the batteries is an innovative approach to transitioning grid power, according to Plus Power, which deploys transmission-connected battery energy storage throughout the United States.

Energy Storage System Replaces Coal Power

The KES batteries will help replace the grid capacity formerly provided by a coal power plant nearby. That former AES coal plant, which closed in September 2022, once provided up to one-fifth of the electricity on Oahu, where nearly 1 million of Hawaii’s 1.5 million people and Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps bases are located.

“This is the first time a standalone battery site has provided grid-forming services at this scale – this is a critical application for high renewable penetration grids supplied by 185 MW of Megapack inverters,” said Mike Snyder, senior director of Tesla Megapack.

Plus Power operates multiple KES-sized projects, and the company has a portfolio of large-scale battery systems, spanning 10 gigawatts of projects in transmission queues across 28 states and Canada.

The company announced $1.8 billion in project financings in October 2023. By June 2024, Plus Power said it will operate seven large-scale battery energy storage plants across Arizona and Texas, totaling 1.3 GW and 3.5 GWh. 

The new facility in Hawaii comes as renewable energy projects are booming in the United States thanks to an influx of funding, incentives, and grants from the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in 2022.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This