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Hawaiian Electric to install 4-hour duration flywheel storage pilot project

Source: Flickr/Marvin Chandra
Hawaiian Electric has teamed with Californian storage company Amber Kinetics on a 4-hour duration flywheel energy storage pilot project in Oahu.

Amber Kinetics will assume construction and installation responsibilities for the 25-steel flywheel system, which will be located in Hawaiian Electric’s Campbell Industrial Park.

The flywheel, once operational, will be capable of charging and discharging electricity for multiple duty cycles daily. It will also provide renewable firming and peak shifting, flexible capacity and ancillary grid services such as voltage smoothing and frequency response for reliable utility operation. According to Amber Kinetics, the system is capable of supporting unlimited cycling with zero capacity loss during a service life of more than 20 years.

Funding of the project is jointly shared by Hawaiian Electric and Energy Excelerator, US a financier of start-ups in renewable ventures.

“Hawaiian Electric Company is a leader among US utilities for adopting and integrating renewable energy to create a sustainable energy future. Now it is continuing that leadership by exploring the potential of flywheel energy storage,” said Ed Chiao, Amber Kinetics’ co-founder and CEO. “We are excited to collaborate toward achieving the state’s 100% renewable energy goals by 2045.”

“Energy storage is essential to reach a 100% renewable energy future, optimizing the use of Hawai‘i’s abundant but variable solar and wind energy,” added Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate planning and business development. “We are collaborating with a variety of partners to test a range of energy storage technologies and we are very excited to work with Amber Kinetics to evaluate this very promising flywheel energy storage system.”

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