Hawaiian Electric, Amber Kinetics testing kinetic energy storage pilot

Amber Kinetics flywheel

March 13 (Renewables Now) - Hawaiian Electric said on Monday it has launched operations of a 8-kW/32-kWh energy storage system (KESS) powered by Amber Kinetics’ flywheel technology.

Hawaii-based company American Electric Co LLC installed the five-tonne flywheel at Hawaiian Electric’s Campbell Industrial Park generating station on Oahu. The system, which stores electricity as rotational kinetic energy, can charge and discharge for multiple duty cycles per day with no loss of capacity.

The companies are now testing the KESS for local grid reliability and support and aid in the integration of renewable energy. They are collecting technical field data with plans to use it for future utility-owned energy storage projects in Hawaii.

“Our evaluation of this very promising energy storage system will help us determine how we can use flywheels to help integrate renewables at a lower cost while improving reliability and resiliency of the grid,” said Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for planning and technology.

Growth accelerator Energy Excelerator was one of the partners in the project. It selected Amber Kinetics to be part of its portfolio due to the high levels of solar and wind on Hawaii’s electrical grid, according to the press statement.

“If you are an energy storage company, Hawaii is probably one of your early markets,” noted Dawn Lippert, CEO of Elemental Excelerator.

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