Hawaii is now free of coal power as it turns on the 185 MW Kapolei Energy Storage (KES) project. The installation, the first of its kind at this scale, uses 158 Megapack batteries, almost double that of the Chinchilla Project Connect in Australia.
The battery energy storage project is used to balance the grid and provide fast frequency response after Hawaii shut down its last coal-powered generating station in 2022. The shutting down caused a deficit of 180 MW from Hawaii’s grid, which is now to be replaced with renewable energy, courtesy of Tesla’s Megapack batteries.
According to Utility Hawaiian Electric, the KES would reduce wind and solar energy curtailment by 69%. It will also allow 10% more renewable energy to be added to the grid within five years, helping to balance the grid. Private property owners will also be able to add power to the grid from their home installation.
According to Jim Alberts, SVP and COO of Hawaiian Electric, “KES is an important part of a portfolio of resources that work together to provide reliability and energy security on Oahu’s isolated island grid. “Energy storage technology that responds quickly to constantly changing conditions is an essential tool for us to use to manage the grid and operate it as efficiently as possible.”
Asian Megapack projects will soon have no need to import the batteries from the US as Tesla recently marked the launch of its second Megapack factory, located in Shanghai.