Kauai grid gets solar storage

Utility-scale storage battery is the answer for Hawaiian solar plant's surges and dips in electricity generation.

Xtreme Power's utility-scale energy storage units store energy and can be used to regulate the ebb and flow of intermittent energy sources like wind and solar into an electric grid. Xtreme Power

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) announced Thursday it will install a 1.5-megawatt utility-scale storage battery for its Koloa substation.

The battery storage unit made by Xtreme Power will be used to store and release energy to accommodate the intermittent nature of a nearby solar plant planned for installation on the island of Kauai.

The 3-megawatt Kauai solar plant, which will be built and run by Poipu Solar, will be capable of generating enough electricity to power over 850 Hawaiian homes when running at full capacity.

The solar installation coincides with Hawaii's goal to be generating 70 percent of all its energy used for electricity and ground transport from renewable resources by 2030. But on overcast days or during the night, that electricity flow from the solar plant will fluctuate.

Xtreme Power's Dynamic Power Resource utility battery storage system will be used to regulate that ebb and flow of electricity between the solar power plant and the Koloa electricity grid.

Texas-based Xtreme Power specializes in utility-scale storage batteries and already has other contracts in the Hawaii community.

In March 2010, the company was chosen to provide a 10-megawatt storage battery system for Oahu's 30-megawatt wind farm. Xtreme Power is also set to provide 10-megawatts of storage to First Wind's 21-megawatt wind farm the Kaheawa Wind Power II, and 10-megawatts to the 30-megawatt Kahuku Wind project in Oahu. Xtreme Power won $29.5 million in Series C funding in July 2010, is also slated to provide energy storage units for the proposed TresAmigas SuperStation in Texas .

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About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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