Kapolei’s 185 MW/565 MWh energy storage project selected in state’s largest renewable energy procurement

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Plus Power, an independent developer of utility-scale battery storage projects,announced that its 185 MW/565 MWh Kapolei Energy Storage project (KES) was selected by the Hawaiian Electric Companies as part of the utility’s transition to renewables. Today’s announcement follows the second phase of a highly competitive RFP process in which Hawaiian Electric selected 16 renewable energy and battery storage projects located across three islands. Plus Power’s KES project is located in Kapolei on the island of Oahu, and is the largest battery storage project selected by Hawaiian Electric.

The lithium-ion battery project is ideally located on roughly eight acres of land in the Kapolei Harborside industrial project, where it will interconnect at a critical Hawaiian Electric substation. The project will provide load shifting and fast-frequency response services to Hawaiian Electric, enhancing grid reliability and accelerating the integration of readily available renewable energy. The June 2022 completion of the KES project will ensure that the AES coal plant – the last- remaining coal-fired generation in Hawai’i – will end operations in September 2022, supporting the state’s goal of shifting from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy generation.

Bob Rudd, Lead Developer at Plus Power stated that, their company was honored and excited to work with Hawaiian Electric to implement this ground-breaking project. At 185 MW/565 MWh, the KES project would provide the scale necessary to transition away from coal and to accelerate Hawaii’s path toward 100 percent renewable energy. Plus Power looked forward to work closely with all the stakeholders to realize this project and deliver its economic and environmental benefits to the people of Oahu.

Plus Power started work on KES in early 2019 in cooperation with the project’s landowner, Kapolei Properties, an affiliate of the James Campbell Company.

Plus Power’s selection as an energy storage provider for Hawaiian Electric was welcomed and was an important step in meeting the state’s renewable energy needs. The company is excited to have them at Harborside, stated Steve Kelly, President of the Kapolei Properties Division of the James Campbell Company.

The KES project received unanimous support from the local Neighborhood Board and approval of its Conditional Use Permit-Minor from the City and County of Honolulu. Situated in I-2 (Industrial) zoning outside the Tsunami Evacuation Zone, the KES project site is an optimal location for new energy infrastructure. 

Construction of the Kapolei Energy Storage facility is anticipated to start in summer 2021, subject to approval from the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission. The project will contribute to the local tax base and create a significant number of local construction and operations jobs.

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