An “enormous” request for proposal (RFPs) put out by the Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) for up to 200MW of energy storage was responded to by more than 60 would-be developers.

The RFP called for 60MW to 200MW of energy storage to be added across one or more systems with 30 minutes of storage capacity. According to local news outlet Pacific Business News, the company received more than 60 proposals in total. A HECO official told Pacific Business News that three finalists had been chosen, each with over 10 years of experience in energy storage “including working with utilities”. The official, Colton Ching, who is vice president of energy delivery for HECO, said all three finalists are proposing battery storage systems. 

Hawaii has in many ways been looked at as a case study for integration of renewables onto an island grid setting. The island has a high penetration of PV. More than one in ten customers of one utility, Maui Electric, has rooftop solar. Meanwhile Hawaii burns more oil than any other US state, all of which needs to be imported, making both the economics and practical purpose of installing storage potentially compelling.

In addition, HECO recently issued an energy plan for the islands, through which the utility aims to meet 65% of Hawaii’s energy needs with renewable energy by 2030. This would involve a great deal more distributed generation capacity being added, including tripling the amount of rooftop solar in the state.

Analyst Dean Frankel of Lux Research, based in Boston, wrote about the HECO RFP in a guest blog for PV Tech Storage, the PV Tech sister-site dedicated to energy storage. Calling the RFP "enormous", Frankel said at the time of writing the blog in May that Hawaii had already installed 58MW and 38MWh of electrochemical energy storage across 18 projects in the state, according to Lux Research’s proprietary Grid Storage Data Tracker.