Installation has begun of what is said to the world’s “first commercially available” four-hour flywheel energy storage system in Hawaii.
US start-up Amber Kinetics Inc and the Hawaiian Electric Company are working on the installation and testing of the system at the utility’s Campbell Industrial Park generating station on O’ahu.
The 8KW, 32KWh-hour system— expected to start operating in January, is capable of charging and discharging electricity for multiple duty cycles per day with no loss of capacity over a 20-year-plus service life, Amber Kinetics said.
Amber Kinetics said the system “extends the duration and efficiency of flywheels from minutes to hours, resulting in safe, economical and reliable energy storage for a variety of utility-scale applications”.
US non-profit Elemental Excelerator is jointly funding the pilot with Hawaiian Electric.
As of January 2017, Hawaii was getting more than 26% of its electricity from renewable energy, the majority of which is distributed solar and wind.
Hawaiian Electric senior vice-president for planning and technology Colton Ching said: “Energy storage is essential to reach our 100% renewable energy goals by taking advantage of Hawaii’s abundant but variable solar and wind energy.”
BBB reported last year that Amber Kinetics planned to test its flywheel’s ability to integrate with renewables in pilot schemes in the Philippines and Hawaii.