Hawaii wind farm leans on giant lithium ion batteries bank

A123 Systems today announced that a Hawaiian wind power project developer will use its batteries to firm up power delivery into the grid. The Auwahi Wind Farm, which has a generating capacity of 21 megawatts, will be buttressed by a giant battery bank able to deliver 11 megawatts of power.

It’s the second time this year that A123 Systems’ storage systems, built around shipping container-size battery banks, were chosen to be co-located with a wind farm. The Laurel Mountain wind farm in West Virginia has a 32-megawatt battery bank attached to it, making it a more reliable source of electricity.

"We believe that wind-rich locations like Hawaii represent a significant opportunity for energy storage, especially as project developers and utilities continue to understand that storage has the capability to help maximize production and reduce the challenges associated with the variability of wind power generation," said Robert Johnson, vice president of the Energy Solutions Group at A123. "We consider Sempra Generation’s selection of our GBS energy storage solution for the Auwahi Wind project to be strong validation of our technology, and we look forward to showcasing the benefits of our energy storage systems for wind power integration when the Auwahi project is operational."

When fully operational, the 21MW Auwahi Wind project is expected to be capable of generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 10,000 homes, and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a 20-year contract for Maui Electric Company to purchase the electricity produced at Auwahi. A123’s GBS storage systemis designed to facilitate the smooth and efficient operation of the wind farm, helping Sempra Generation maintain the consistent delivery of clean, emission-free energy to Maui Electric.

In addition, A123’s Smart Grid Domain Controller will manage voltage regulation requirements for the project, leveraging the battery system and other assets including substation capacitor banks. When called upon, the storage solution will use A123’s proprietary Nanophosphate® lithium ion batteries and built-in power electronics to deliver up to 11MW of power in milliseconds, providing Sempra Generation with a robust, turnkey solution for meeting energy requirements while helping to maintain grid stability.

A123 Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:AONE) is a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and energy storage systems for transportation, electric grid and commercial applications. The company’s proprietary Nanophosphate® technology is built on novel nanoscale materials initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is designed to deliver high power and energy density, increased safety and extended life. A123 leverages breakthrough technology, high-quality manufacturing and expert systems integration capabilities to deliver innovative solutions that enable customers to bring next-generation products to market.