Hawaii has a new, game-changing tool in its renewable energy arsenal. Power producer AES Corporation and the not-for-profit Kaua’i island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) unveiled what’s claimed to be the world’s largest solar -plus-storage peaker on the island of Kauai on Tuesday, the Lāwa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project. Construction Monitor Visit Site This is a significant step to help the Aloha State reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2045, one of the most aggressive decarbonization targets in the nation. So what exactly does this thing do? The battery-based energy storage system—consisting of a 28-megawatts of solar PV and 20-megawatt lithium-ion battery—is designed to supply the grid with peak power output for up to five hours while simultaneously charging the batteries, according to the member-owned energy cooperative. Essentially, the new facility solves a big hiccup with standalone solar plants, which traditionally turn to peaker plants that run on fossil fuels to meet peak demand on the grid. Once it’s fully integrated, the Lāwa’i plant will offset the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel each year, the developers touted in a press release . “Now that the Lāwa’i project is on line, as much as 40 percent of […]

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