The Aloha State is bidding farewell to environmentally harmful power sources and embracing a new era where its sunny skies offer more than just ripe pineapples and sun-kissed tans.
According to reports from Electrek, Hawai’i has officially inaugurated a Tesla Megapack battery system, replacing its last remaining coal power plant. The state boasts the highest solar capacity per capita, but with the sun not shining 24/7, energy storage solutions are essential. Hawai’i aims to transition to 100% green energy by 2045, and initiatives like the Kapolei Energy Storage project, owned and operated by Plus Power on Oahu's west side, contribute significantly.
Plus Power claims it to be "the most advanced grid-scale battery energy storage system in the world," with specifications including 135 MW / 540 MWh of capacity and energy, additional "fast frequency response" of 50 MW/25 MWh to stabilize the electric grid, "virtual inertia" replicating the power-smoothing function of a spinning turbine, and "black start" capabilities for grid recovery during blackouts.
The project's benefits extend beyond Hawaiians, with the potential to reduce renewable energy curtailment by 69%, integrate 10% more utility-scale renewables, and support the growth of personal rooftop solar.
Transitioning from coal to clean energy sources is a collective win, as pollution from electricity use contributes significantly to planet-warming emissions. The closure and repurposing of coal plants into clean energy sites exemplify this positive trend. Affordable and accessible green energy sources make it more likely for homeowners to adopt solar panels and other environmentally friendly upgrades.
Key figures involved in this milestone expressed pride in Hawai’i's leadership in the clean energy transition. Mark B. Glick, Hawai’i’s chief energy officer, emphasized the state's commitment, while Mike Snyder, senior director at Tesla Megapack, highlighted the critical role played by this standalone battery site. Brandon Keefe, Plus Power’s executive chairman, dubbed it a "landmark milestone" and a glimpse into the future, where batteries on a large scale will play a pivotal role in balancing the grid.
-------The article excerpted from Yahoo!tech.