The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) announced it has been selected for the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) 2019 Edison Award, the electric power industry’s most prestigious honor. A panel of former energy company chief executives selected AES for the 91st annual award for introducing the world’s largest solar and storage system in operation on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i.
In December 2018, AES and Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) completed the Lāwa’i solar and energy storage project, creating a new model for stabilizing large-scale renewable energy. Owned and operated by AES Distributed Energy, the project was designed with KIUC and consists of 28 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and a 100 MWh five-hour duration energy storage system. The PV peaker will also deliver roughly 11 percent of Kaua’i’s power, making the island more than 50 percent powered by renewables and helping Hawaii meet its goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
“The Lāwa’i project that we designed together with KIUC will help Kaua’i realize its vision of a green energy future by reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and generating clean, reliable and affordable energy,” said Andrés Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are honored to receive the prestigious 2019 Edison Award from EEI for an innovation that will serve as a model for future large-scale renewable energy projects by proving that solar + storage can provide around the clock load following renewable power.”
By combining solar power with battery-based energy storage, intermittent renewable generation can be converted into safe, reliable and high-quality power. The fully integrated Lāwa’i project will eliminate the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel annually, while supporting three vital scenarios in power distribution – it allows for solar generation to supply the grid while charging the battery system, dispatches power stored in the battery system to the grid during peak demand periods and can dispatch solar and battery power simultaneously to answer spikes in demand.
“Declining costs of solar, coupled with model projects such as this one, are making renewable energy solutions a reality in the United States and across the world,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Despite the challenges Kaua’i faced, the PV peaker plant designed by AES with KIUC helped establish the island as a leader in the clean energy transition and as a case study for the successful integration of renewables.”
The Edison Award honors distinguished leadership, innovation and contribution to the advancement of the electric industry for the benefit of all. These accomplishments may include (but need not be limited to) any or all the following areas: engineering, construction, operations, communications, customer service, environment, finances, and strategy. This is AES’ first US Edison Award and sixth Edison Award overall, and is a testament to the work AES people are doing to collaborate with customers, and create innovative and sustainable energy solutions.
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