Hawaii is well known for its hospitality, clean beaches, and sunshine – Maui alone receives an average of 271 days of sunshine annually. No wonder the state generates more solar power than it can use. The problem occurs when the sun goes down and solar panels no longer generate energy. This coincides with people coming home from work, turning on the lights, and using the air conditioning and other home appliances – resulting in demand on the energy grid and causing rates to increase. This energy surge creates a duck curve, as shown in Figure 1, where there is low demand between the morning and late afternoon, and energy use spikes in the early evening.
Figure 1: Typical Daily Energy Consumption Peaks in the Early Evening
Stem’s energy storage systems can discharge saved energy and support the utility during the increased evening load, creating a win-win-win situation for asset owners, off-takers, and utilities. For asset owners, it means having direct access to grid services programs for additional revenues; off-takers can lower their energy costs while making the most use of renewable energy; and utilities can better manage energy demand.
Stem Knows Energy Storage in Hawaii
Stem has a decade of experience installing and operating battery storage in Hawaii and has intimate knowledge of the multiple utility programs offered through Hawaiian Electric. In 2023, we are deploying several new and retrofit installations that pair solar with storage.
Stem leverages market expertise, operating experience, and our advanced AI platform – Athena® – to support our partners in maximizing the value of their solar plus storage projects while reducing overall energy spend and maintaining a resilient, renewable grid on the islands. Our proprietary analysis tools enable us to quantify the value of increased solar and right-size your energy storage system (ESS) for solar self-consumption (SSC). With extensive experience in Hawaii and a long-standing relationship with Hawaiian Electric, Stem also helps partners navigate incentive and grid services program enrollment, interconnection, and deployment issues to ensure a seamless process from PO to deployment to operations. Additionally, Athena optimizes ESS operations to maximize savings from multiple value streams, including SSC, Utility Bill Optimization (UBO), and Grid Services. As SSC is a complex service, Athena’s sophisticated AI is critical for accurate solar forecasting, load forecasting, and tariff data processing.
Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus Program
To spur the addition of energy storage to renewable energy sites, Hawaiian Electric came up with the Battery Bonus Program. The Program softens the cost of adding energy storage to a new or existing solar site on Maui and Oahu; however, it does have limited funding available. It’s a sprint to get more batteries online before the funds are gone. All C&I customers are eligible but must capitalize on the incentive now! The up-front cash payment will make storage even more attractive for business customers, who typically see 10-30% utility bill savings from onsite battery storage. Hawaiian Electric will pay a cash incentive and provide bill credits for customers on Oahu and Maui to add energy storage to an existing or new rooftop solar system. These perks will help move Hawaii toward its goal of 100% clean energy by 2045 and add more renewable resources to the grid as Hawaiian Electric retires generators fired by fossil fuels. On Oahu, applications will be accepted through June 20, 2023, or until the 50MW cap is reached. On Maui, applications will be accepted through June 30, 2024 or until the 15 MW cap is reached. Learn more about Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus program here.
Meet Stem in Maui
Stem will be at the 10th Hawaii Energy Conference and Exhibition May 24-25, 2023. Be sure to see Stem’s Ashley Henderson, Senior Program Manager, speak on the panel “Risk and Benefits of Energy Storage,” Thursday, May 25 at 2:15PM. The conference will focus on the challenges of electrifying the grid and transportation – current successes, potential pitfalls, and future opportunities. Please use our meeting request form to schedule a meeting in advance.
If you are interested in participating in Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus Program, fill out the form here and a Stem representative will contact you soon.