HECO seeks large-scale RE storage

Hawaiian Electric Company is seeking proposals for one or more large-scale energy storage systems able to store 60MW to 200MW for up to 30 minutes, a move that will help it add more renewable generation to the Oahu grid.

The deadline for proposals is 21 July.

They will include engineering, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning and performance verification.

The utility says ongoing growth of both wind and solar energy on Oahu requires energy storage capability to help ride through sudden changes in availability of both intermittent sources. It also notes that more than 11% of its customers now utilize rooftop solar.

When power supplied by these resources drops suddenly, energy storage systems could help maintain reliable service and avoid customer outages as fast-starting firm generation units are brought online.

Energy storage can also provide so-called “auxiliary services” to operate the grid, such as sub-second frequency response (near-instantaneous changes to keep power quality at 60-hertz) and minute-to-minute load following (power output adjustments as demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day), according to the utility.

Bidders are invited to propose the best available technologies including batteries, mechanical flywheels, capacitors, compressed gas systems, pumped hydro storage or a combination of such technologies.

Any project selected with a cost of $2.5m or more must be reviewed and approved by the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission with input from the Consumer Advocate.

The target is to complete and file energy storage agreements with the PUC by the end of this year. Bidders must provide a schedule with the goal of having the energy storage system in service in the first quarter of 2017.