The Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage System in Kaua’i is Energized

BOULDER, Co. January 8, 2019AES Distributed Energy (AES DE), a subsidiary of The AES Corporation (AES), and Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) held a site blessing today for completion of the Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage facility on Kauaʻi’s south shore. The facility consists of 28 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 100 MWh five-hour duration energy storage system and and will help Hawaii meet its goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. The new PV Peaker will deliver roughly 11 percent of the Kaua’i’s power, making the island more than 50 percent powered by renewables.

“AES DE is incredibly proud to have reached this important and historic milestone with KIUC now that the AES Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project is on-line and delivering clean, affordable and dispatchable energy to Kauai community, said Woody Rubin, President of AES Distributed Energy. “This innovative project will be a reliable source of firm renewable energy for decades to come and serve as an example for markets across the globe.  We thank KIUC for their leadership in driving towards a cleaner energy future as well as the broader community for their support during the development of the project.”

 “Now that the Lawai project is on line, as much as 40 percent of our evening peak power will be supplied by stored solar energy,” stated David Bissell, KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to partner with AES on innovative projects that are paving the way toward a clean energy future.”

The Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project began providing early morning and evening renewable peaking capacity to the grid on the island of Kauai in December 2018, helping replace traditional generation altogether with firm renewables, ensuring a more sustainable future and establishing a new model for stabilizing grid-scale renewable energy. At 11 cents per kWh, the PV peaker plant will provide energy well below the cost of diesel and help KIUC eliminate the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel each year.

The fully integrated Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project will support three vital scenarios in power distribution – it allows for solar generation to supply the grid while charging the battery system, dispatches power stored in the battery system to the grid during peak demand periods and can dispatch solar and battery power simultaneously to answer spikes in demand or support the grid through provision of ancillary services.

The system is located on 155 acres of former sugar land between Lāwaʻi and Kōloa on Kauaʻi’s south shore. It is currently the largest solar-plus-utility-scale-battery system in the state of Hawaiʻi and one of the biggest storage systems in the world.

AES DE is currently constructing an additional 19.3 MW solar + 70 MWh battery energy storage facility for KIUC located on leased land from the US Department of Defense within the Pacific Missile Range Facility – Barking Sands (PMRF) Naval Base. This facility will be completed by end of 2019. Together, these projects will contribute significantly to KIUC’s goal to produce 70 percent of the island’s power from renewables by the end of 2019, well ahead of its 2030 goal. 

Combining solar power with battery-based energy storage as the Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project does firms renewable energy by converting intermittent renewable generation into safe, reliable and higher-quality power that benefits those who live and visit Hawaiʻi.

AES DE is the long-term owner and operator of the project.

About AES Distributed Energy 

AES Distributed Energy (AES DE) is a wholly owned subsidiary of The AES Corporation, a Fortune 500 and publicly traded international energy company. Our daily mission at AES DE is to bring reliable and cost-effective distributed energy systems to utilities, municipalities, corporations, schools, and commercial and industrial customers. AES DE’s proven project development, financing, and operating experience empowers energy consumers to benefit from the distributed energy solutions we deliver. 

About KIUC

KIUC is a member-owned cooperative serving 33,000 customer accounts on the island of Kauaʻi. Formed in 2002 and governed by a nine-member, elected board of directors, KIUC is one of 930 electric co-ops serving more than 36 million members in 47 states.