Under the MOU, Altairnano will provide the ALTI-ESS battery-based power management system to smooth the output of an operating wind farm with a high-rate of charging and discharging of the energy storage system.
"Altairnano technology was selected for this wind power project based on its unique values of long cycle life and very rapid charge and discharge capabilities," said Dr. Rick Rocheleau, HNEI director. "These characteristics are expected to help meet the integration challenges of high-penetration wind energy sources."
The project is designed to test the performance characteristics of the battery and to demonstrate the effectiveness of battery storage technology to integrate wind turbines into an electric grid. The test is expected to demonstrate solutions for integration of greater levels of renewable energy onto the grid, improving capacity utilization, and reducing dependency on fossil-fuel power generation while maintaining grid performance and reliability.
Terry Copeland, Altairnano president and CEO, said, "This wind power project will show the value of our technology to cost-effectively meet the performance requirements for fast energy storage needed for wind integration, and we look forward to working with our partners to provide Hawai’i Electric Light Company with the means to increase their use of renewable energy sources."
Hawai’i Electric Light Company plans to install the energy storage system at the Hawi Renewable Development wind farm on the north end of Hawai’i’s Big Island.
"We are looking forward to pursuing this opportunity with HNEI and Altairnano," said Jay Ignacio, Hawai’i Electric Light Company president. "Over one-third of our energy is produced from renewable sources. Our goal is to reduce our fossil fuel dependency to zero. This project will help us better understand how we can achieve our goal."
The memorandum of understanding is nonbinding. A definitive agreement reflecting the terms of the memorandum is expected to be finalized by the 4th quarter of 2010 with system installation in the first half of 2011.
The Office of Naval Research is providing funding for the project through a grant to the University of Hawai’i. Projects that support the Department of Navy’s energy programs to demonstrate technologies that enable increased implementation of alternative energy sources and promote energy security, are made possible by the efforts of Senator Inouye, Senate Appropriations Chair, to ensure that the Department of Defense is adequately resourced to make these critical and cutting edge investments in energy technology.
Headquartered in Reno, Nevada with manufacturing in Anderson, Indiana, Altairnano is a leading provider of energy storage systems for clean, efficient power and energy management. Altairnano’s Lithium-Titanate based battery systems are among the highest performing and most scalable, with applications that include complete energy storage systems for use in providing frequency regulation and renewables integration for the electric grid, battery modules and cells for transportation applications, and battery packs for several different military applications.
The Hawai’i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) is a research unit in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) of the University of Hawai’i at Mânoa. HNEI began operations in 1974 and was formally established in statute by the Hawai’i State Legislature in 2006 under Act 235 with a mandate that includes development of renewable sources of energy for power generation and transportation, and to demonstrate and deploy efficient energy end-use technologies including those that address peak electric demand issues for Hawaii’s electrical power grids.
HNEI coordinates its work closely with the State Energy Resources Coordinator in support of the Hawai’i Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI). Current research includes the areas of hydrogen and fuel cells, ocean resources and energy systems, fuels and high value products derived from locally-produced biomass and engineered microbial systems, photovoltaics, and batteries and electric vehicles. HNEI also conducts research and manages public-private partnership projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Office of Naval Research to identify, model, and validate technology solutions that enable increased penetration of renewable energy onto the electrical grids of the different Hawai’i islands thus helping to reduce fossil fuel importation and increase Hawai’i’s energy security.
Hawai’i Electric Light Company (HELCO) provides more than one-third of its energy from renewable sources including geothermal, wind, run-of-river hydro, concentrating solar and solar photovoltaic sources. At times, more than half the energy provided to its 80,000 customers is from renewable sources.
HELCO is focused on grid integration of variable generation Hawai’i to support even greater renewable energy penetration on all Hawaiian islands and on the U.S. mainland, with the support and interest of the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Labs, the Office of Naval Research, EPRI, NERC, and other utilities. HELCO is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Company, which is owned by Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE). The Hawaiian Electric companies are signatories to an energy agreement under the Hawai’i Clean Energy Initiative, a statewide effort to obtain 70 percent of the State of Hawai’i’s energy for electricity and ground transportation from clean sources.