Hawaii’s Big Island integrates renewable energy with Saft’s Li-ion technology

Name of Project:
Hawaii’s Big Island integrates renewable energy with Saft’s Li-ion technology
The Big Island
Renewable Integration
Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO)
Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism


Saft’s two lithium-ion (Li-ion) Intensium® Max 20E containerized energy storage systems (ESS) provide Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) with the technology required for the Big Island to integrate an even greater amount of renewable resources with its grid. While the state of Hawaii is well placed to generate energy from natural sources, it historically has a high dependence on oil. It is targeting 40% of its energy to come from renewables by 2030, which it will achieve partly through intermittent sources such as solar and wind power. Hawaii is a U.S. national leader in the adoption of photovoltaic (PV) power, as well as industrial-scale wind farms producing megawatts of power. Saft’s proven ESS technology within the renewable energy space is ideal for HELCO to increase the island grid’s ability to integrate an even greater level of renewables.


Saft delivered the ideal ESS for the Big Island in the form of two Intensium® Max 20E containers. This solution provides 248kWH of energy storage per container, coupled with a 100kW power conversion system in each container. It has a two hour runtime, can be charged overnight during off-peak times and has an expected operating life of at least 15 years. The system reduces renewable output power volatility and optimizes renewable power performance. It provides responsive charging and discharging, frequency regulation, autonomous operation and electrical output management. The containerized approach integrates SCADA and HMI interfaces, battery management, system heating/cooling and fire prevention.


Since installation, Saft’s two systems are enabling HELCO to increase energy storage capabilities for PV smoothing. The solution reduces renewable energy curtailment and provides ancillary services, such as spinning reserves. The first installation provides effective energy storage to time-shift PV power production to support high afternoon loads caused by increased use of air-conditioning systems. The second installation at a bottling plant has improved power quality to boost production. For more information, please visit http://www.saftbatteries.com/.