The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA) in partnership with Hawai‘i Electric Light Company (HELCO), the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity (DOE-OE), the Ulupono Initiative, and UniEnergy Technologies (UET) have announced their intent to install a 100kW/500kWh advanced vanadium energy storage system (ESS) later this year at the Hawai‘i Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST Park) administered by NELHA.

Sandia National Laboratories, on behalf of the DOE-OE Energy Storage Program led by Dr. Imre Gyuk, will provide technical consulting and conduct research to analyze how a flow battery performs in an island climate and on an island grid. “The more installations we have of various energy storage technologies, the more we learn and disseminate,” said Dan Borneo, Sandia National Laboratories’ ESS demonstration program lead. “This will help the energy storage industry proliferate.”

UET’s modular ReFlexTM ESS is planned to be in operation at the NELHA Gateway Center early next year. The ESS utilizes advanced vanadium flow battery technology and was developed by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Vanadium flow batteries have a longer life cycle than common lead acid or lithium-ion batteries. With regular maintenance, they can last more than 20 years and operate in very warm weather without much need for cooling to optimize performance. “Long duration flow batteries are particularly suitable for island systems to serve as a buffer between the load, variable renewable generation, and expensive fossil fuel generation, allowing for more effective asset utilization”, said Dr. Gyuk. This project will represent a field validation of UET’s technology linked with solar in a microgrid.

The ESS installation is jointly funded by the DOE Office of Electricity and Hawaii Electric Light Company, with additional contributions from Ulupono Initiative and UET. NELHA is providing the site and will connect the ESS to its data acquisition system.

For more information, see the complete news release.

Photo: An Advanced Vanadium Energy Storage System will be installed at the Hawai’i Ocean Science and Technology Park (photo courtesy of NELHA).