The Hawaii solar +storage market is its own unique beast. Hawaiian Electric Company, the state’s energy utility, faces many modern grid challenges. It has the largest proportion of renewable and distributed energy out of any other utility in the country. In 2016, 26 percent of customer’s electricity demand came from renewable resources, which can present intermittency challenges for the utility to manage. Instability compounded by the high expense of the utilities’ largest energy supply – imported oil – is encouraging the state to look to modern solutions, such as energy storage and energy management systems to create the 21st-century utility.
EnSync Energy Systems knows this well, having today sealed its 20th contracted project in Hawaii. EnSync Energy’s impact on the Hawaiian electric infrastructure, with projects in operation or that will be in operation in the next 12 months, will account for more than $20 million from renewable energy electricity sales over the term of the various power purchasing agreements.
“The Hawaiian market has been foundational to our success as we introduced new products, services and business models over the last two years,” said Brad Hansen, CEO and president of EnSync Energy. “Installing new hybrid energy storage systems, developing and executing our power purchase agreement business model, demonstrating real-time aggregation of multiple DER installations and recently, shipping our first DER SuperModulesTM are all exciting markers of energy progress. We’re proud of our efforts in Hawaii and the 20 projects we closed there.”
These customer collaborations – including Spectrum (formerly Time Warner), University of the Nations, Easter Seals, and Villages of Kapolei – support key Hawaiian industries such as agriculture, food processing, telecommunications, hospitality, education, real estate and nonprofit.
EnSync Energy’s storage and generation integration expertise provides grid automation by enabling services across the meter and optimizing local businesses with behind-the-meter application controls. EnSync Energy developed, engineered, financed and installed differentiated DER technologies to deliver electricity-generating projects that meet Hawaii’s evolving energy demands, synchronize power sources and enhance grid stability via improved visibility and control. Through its partnerships with Hawaiian businesses, EnSync Energy sourced balance-of-systems goods and services with local suppliers and partners.
“Our goal is always to deliver the highest value, most reliable and cost-effective electricity, and we’ve been able to achieve this through our integrated DER system technologies – supporting our customers from concept through design, project finance and commissioning,” said Dan Nordloh, executive vice president at EnSync Energy. “EnSync Energy’s technologies are leading the way to providing benefit to all electricity stakeholders in Hawaii: for customers seeking to reduce their electricity spend and achieve resiliency, for the utility to leverage distributed energy resources to improve the grid and for the state’s 100 percent renewable energy plan objectives. Our success in Hawaii is demonstrative of what is possible in creating the electricity grid of the future.”
EnSync Energy’s business model and increasing impact in the state aligns with Hawaii’s current political objectives. Hawaiian Electric has set renewable targets of 48 percent by 2020 and 100 percent by 2040 – five years ahead of the state’s mandated goal. Along with acquiring nearly 400 megawatts of renewable generating capacity, the utility’s latest Power Supply Improvement Plan includes adding energy storage and other grid technologies to aid resiliency.
“EnSync Energy’s comprehensive solutions afforded us offerings that were customized to our needs and enabled us to avoid complex and cumbersome processes that we would have experienced with single-product solar developers or battery providers,” said Charlie Moore, Manager of Century West AOAO in Honolulu. “EnSync Energy has enabled us to reduce operational expenses, which ultimately positions us to bring down costs for our residents.”
— Solar Builder magazine