The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) of the University of Hawaii at Manoa signed an agreement with Altair Nanotechnologies (Altairnano), which will see the company supply the institute with a 1MW Alti-Ess energy storage system, designed to test solar energy integration. The contract specifies Altairnano supplying the battery-based power management system so that it can be tested on Hawaiian Electric’s system to even out the voltage and load profile using dynamic voltage controls and fast charge/discharge capabilities.
The project aims to study the performance characteristics of the battery and discover the effectiveness of battery storage technology so that solar energy can be a more prevalent component in Hawaiian Electric’s system. The organizations predict that the test will provide solutions for the integration, on a higher level, of renewable energy onto the grid, improve capacity use and maintain grid performance and reliability, which should allow Hawaii to move away from fossil-fuel power systems.
Hawaiian Electric is looking to install the energy storage system at one of its central Oahu electrical substations, which has an increasing residential and commercial solar installation demand, early next year. Funding was received for the project by the Office of Naval Research, which bestowed a grant to the University of Hawaii for the project.