An Advanced Energy Storage System Will Be Installed At The MECO Substation In Wailea As Part Of The Maui Smart Grid Project

Wailea Substation Upgrade Supports Smart Grid Project

By Wendy Osher
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The Maui Smart Grid Project will demonstrate and evaluate new technologies that will help residents better manage and reduce energy consumption during periods of high demand. It will also assist Maui Electric Company (MECO) operate the electricity grid more efficiently.

An advanced energy storage system will be installed at the Maui Electric Company substation in Wailea as part of the Maui Smart Grid Project.

Led by MECO and the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, the Maui Smart Grid Project is designed to demonstrate and evaluate new technologies for operating the electric grid more efficiently.

The Grid Battery System is being provided by A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium ion batteries and systems. It is designed to deliver one megawatt of power for a full hour, reducing the peak energy load on the substation’s transformers.

“We look forward to working with MECO to illustrate the value of our technology within the framework of the next-generation electric grid,” said Robert Johnson, vice president of the Energy Solutions Group at A123.

“A123′s advanced energy storage system has demonstrated the ability to shift peak energy loads when demand is high to provide the consistent delivery of quality power, which is an extremely valuable service that supports MECO’s ongoing effort to increase the reliability of the grid and maximize the generation resources we have in place,” said MECO president, Ed Reinhardt.

“The Maui Smart Grid Project will enable us to evaluate new technologies for enhancing our operations,” said Reinhardt. He said the versatility of A123′s storage system will not only allow the utility to meet peak load shifting requirements, but also perform additional services.

Specific objectives include minimizing emissions, enabling greater utilization of renewable energy sources and improving grid stability.