AES wins 2019 Edison Award for solar + storage project in Hawaii

Published on June 11, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

Credit: AES

The AES Corp. won the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) 2019 Edison Award, the industry’s most prestigious honor for contribution to the advancement of the electric industry.

Specifically, AES won for introducing the world’s largest solar and storage system on the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii, where AES created a new model for stabilizing large-scale renewable energy. Developed for the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), AES’s PV Peaker Plant fully integrates photovoltaic cells and storage to transform renewable energy generation into power. This project will deliver about 11 percent of the island’s power.

“America’s electric companies are increasingly partnering with technology companies to develop and deploy innovative new solutions to address the specific needs of their customers,” EEI President Tom Kuhn said. “The PV Peaker Plant designed by AES allows KIUC to shift roughly 100 megawatt-hours of solar energy gathered during the day to the evening peak, enabling energy grid operators to utilize solar energy well past sundown. The AES Corporation is helping the sun work harder for KIUC’s members, and this project puts the co-op a big step closer to reaching its goal of generating 70 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2030.”

AES was selected for the 2019 Edison Award by a panel of former energy company chief executives.

“We are very honored to receive this prestigious award from EEI in recognition of our innovative and groundbreaking Lawa’i solar + storage project,” Andrés Gluski, president and CEO of AES Corp., said. “This project, which was designed in conjunction with KIUC, will help their community realize their vision of a green energy future that is reliable and affordable. The Lawa’i project proves that solar + storage can provide around-the-clock renewable energy and creates a footprint for replacing traditional forms of power generation in many other markets around the world.”

The Lāwa’i project allows for solar to supply the grid while charging the battery system. It also dispatches power stored in the battery system to the grid during peak demand periods and can dispatch solar and battery power to answer spikes in demand. It will eliminate the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel annually.

Meanwhile, UK Power Networks received EEI’s 2019 International Edison Award for investing in innovative grid technologies. The company’s investments in smarter energy infrastructure have saved customers $195 million since 2015, and have facilitated the country’s ability to lower its carbon emissions, EEI said in a statement.

“Great Britain is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation change as significant for the electricity industry as the advent of broadband was for communications,” said Sul Alli, Director of Safety, Strategy and Support Services for UK Power Networks. “We are putting in place a future ready grid for a low-carbon world, by listening to what our customers need, innovating and using technology to enable those needs and ultimately collaborating across the energy industry to achieve the energy transition.”

Kuhn noted that the grid is changing around the world in response to climate change and customer preferences.

“UK Power Networks is integrating technology and industry innovation to transform the energy grid to meet the needs of current and future customers and stakeholders,” Kuhn said. “As UK Power Networks has demonstrated, actively listening to, and engaging with, customers is vital to realize the benefits of transformative energy solutions.”