Saft gets Hawaii PV storage nod

French battery maker Saft has landed a multi-million dollar contract from Hawaii's Kauai Island Utility Co-operative (KIUC) for a Li-ion Energy Storage System (ESS) to be built into a new 12MW solar farm now under construction.

The 6MW/4.63MWh Kauai Island Anahola Project ESS, made up of eight Intensium Max 20 M battery units, is designed to stabilise the regional electrical grid as KIUC develops renewable energy projects designs to meet peak loads of 78MW.

KIUC, a vertically integrated utility, is moving to tie a larger percentage of solar, hydropower and biomass energy production into its generation portfolio, starting with the $50m PV farm being developed at Anahola with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Homestead Community Development.

Saft’s ESS will be designed to smooth intermittent fluctuations on Kauai's grid, which is built around 13 substations and three main power plants.

The system will also regulate the distribution bus voltage, serve as spinning reserve, and provide frequency support during the loss of generation by pooling and integrating with other distributed KIUC sources.

The project on Kauai, the fourth-largest inhabited island in Hawaii, will be the third Saft Li-ion ESS installed in the state.

Deliveries for the contract are set to begin in October.

“With other ESS contracts in the works, this agreement is indicative of the expanding renewables market relying on Li-ion energy storage within island nations, and Saft’s leadership in enabling storage solutions for solar integration,” says Saft vice president of energy storage Blake Frye.