Hawaiian Electric to host virtual community meetings for five battery energy storage projects

Published on March 31, 2020 by Chris Galford

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Hawaiian Electric has proposed the creation of five battery energy storage systems (BESS) and will host a series of virtual meetings to gather community input.

Presently, projections put a 40-megawatt facility on Maui, and a pair of facilities each on Oahu and Hawaii Island. The two on Oahu will consist of a 135 MW BESS at Kahe Power Plant and a 65 MW BESS on industrial land. The remaining two on Hawaii Island would consist of a 6 MW BESS and a 12 MW BESS. All need comments by mid-May, and even the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not changed that timeline.

“We know the community is dealing with a lot right now because of the pandemic, and there is uncertainty on how long this will last. If we could postpone these meetings, we would,” Jack Shriver, Hawaiian Electric director of generation project development, said. “But, these potential projects are under a compressed schedule for permitting and construction. We want to give our communities an early opportunity to provide their feedback on our self-build proposals.”

These projects could also potentially aid the retirement of two existing power plants: Kahului Power Plant in 2024 and the AES power plant in 2022.

Project discussions will be held through a mix of televised and online services. The efforts on Maui and Hawaii Island will be televised: for Maui, on April 8 on Akaku Community TV Channel 54, and for Hawaii Island, April 15 on Na Leo TV Channel 53. A WebEx live meeting on April 14 will address the Oahu projects. All welcome audience participation by email.