Hawaiian Electric seeks energy storage to meet renewable goals

Systems able to store 60 to 200 MW for 30 minutes needed to meet goal of adding more renewable energy generation for Oahu power grid.

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To meet its goal of adding more renewable energy generation to the Oahu power grid, Hawaiian Electric Company (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA), is seeking proposals for one or more large-scale energy storage systems able to store 60 to 200 megawatts for up to 30 minutes.

Energy storage is needed to help smooth sudden changes in power availability from utility-scale wind and solar sources. With Oahu island's continuing dramatic growth in renewable energy projects, including rooftop solar in use by more than 11 percent of Hawaiian Electric customers, energy storage systems will help maintain reliable service and avoid customer outages when the output from these resources drops suddenly. Potential bidders are invited to propose the best available technologies, including batteries, mechanical flywheels, capacitors, compressed gas systems, pumped hydro storage or a combination.

"Energy storage is one of the key missing elements in integrating high levels of renewable energy from variable sources like solar and wind," said Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric vice president for energy delivery.

Hawaiian Electric asks bidders for the energy storage project to submit proposals that include engineering, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning, start-up and performance verification. Proposals will be evaluated on overall cost, design concept and feasibility, implementation and operational viability and operating flexibility, among other factors. Bidders must provide a schedule with the goal of having the energy storage system in service in the first quarter of 2017.

The deadline for proposals is July 21, 2014. The complete request for proposals may be reviewed at www.hawaiianelectric.com/energystorage. Inquiries from qualified bidders may be sent to PurchasingED@hawaiianelectric.com.