The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) and Sandia have signed an MOU to implement electrical energy storage systems (ESSs) in renewable-energy projects at their Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology (HOST) Park.

Aquion Energy battery module installed at NELHA.

Aquion Energy battery module installed at NELHA.

Hawaii’s innovative green economic development park plays a significant role in Hawaii’s growth in ocean energy technologies and sustainable development. HOST Park’s applied energy zone houses enterprises that test renewable energy technologies on the cusp of commercialization. Activities at the park fulfill statewide priorities and complement the visitor industry in West Hawaii.

Gregory Barbour, NELHA Executive Director, said “this effort builds upon the 2014 initiative by the County of Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Light Company, and NELHA to cooperate, share resources, and attract companies interested in testing/evaluating precommercial ESSs in Hawaii. Sandia is an ESS world leader and brings a tremendous expertise and knowledge to NELHA projects.”

Both groups have been working together to bring online and evaluate the first of three ESS systems to be installed at NELHA’s new energy storage test bed. The 21.9 kWh M100 battery module by Aquion Energy Inc. was installed earlier in 2015 by Hawaii-based Renewable Energy Services and will be monitored for a minimum of 6 months. A second ESS system by a separate manufacturer is expected to come online later this year.

Ted Wiley, founder and vice president of product and corporate strategy at Aquion Energy, said “NELHA’s efforts are critical at this time because Hawaii desperately needs energy storage systems that can help improve power reliability and resilience while allowing for higher penetration of renewable energy sources. Through the installation at NELHA, we plan to demonstrate to the Hawaii market that our battery systems are high performance, safe, and cost effective, and are the only nontoxic and environmentally friendly battery in the world.”

The Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability supported the installation of the Aquion battery system at NELHA. Dan Borneo (in Sandia’s Energy Storage Technology & Systems Dept.) oversaw Sandia’s participation in this energy storage installation activity.