Energy storage technology will play a role in Hawaii's renewable energy future

Energy storage technology will play a role in Hawaii's renewable energy future

The future of Hawaiis renewable energy scene will depend heavily on new technologies, including those innovations involving energy storage.

As the state moves closer to its new goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, more and more customers and even the utility will have to start looking to implement these storage technologies, which have yet to pencil out financially for mass adoption within the market.

Technology will be the key to integrating all of these renewables, said Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Co., who also was a panelist.

Thursdays energy event in Honolulu, spearheaded by the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum, addressed the storage topic, among other issues, including liquefied natural gas and the integration of more renewables into the utilitys grid.

In terms of energy storage, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has decided against battery technology, and has opted to implement pumped-hydro storage.

Hawaiian Electric is nearing the selection of battery storage developers to help it absorb more renewable energy.

The event also addressed the notion of going off the grid.

We no longer look at raising rates and passing that on to customers, said David Bissell, president and CEO of KIUC and a panelist at the event. We have to control our costs. If the utility cant put out a competitive product out there, then more people will go off the grid.

State and federal tax credits for renewable energy, namely solar, are still in play, but some question if Hawaii still needs these subsidies to further integrate more energy from the sun.

Its different today, said Ben Sullivan, energy and sustainability manager for Kauai County and a panelist at the event. Im not saying it should end. We are wrestling with these issues very vigorously right now. Should we invest in tax credits for battery storage? We should learn from what we have seen from the solar tax credits.

Source: Pacific Business News

Smart Grid Bulletin February 2019

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