Swell Power digital energy plant take care of Hawaiian Electrical authorised by PUC


The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved Swell Energy’s $ 25 million contract with Hawaiian Electric for the delivery of various grid services through an aggregated “virtual power plant” (VPP) on three islands. Swell Energy, a California-based energy and smart grid solutions provider, will deploy solar powered home batteries behind the meter to around 6,000 residential customers to create a comprehensive VPP in the islands of Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.

The contract was awarded in response to Hawaiian Electric’s request for storable energy storage and renewable energy generation through distributed energy resources, as well as capacity and ancillary services to ensure adequate reliability of the supply and grid across Hawaiian Electric’s coverage area.

“Providing this level of capacity and additional services will set a new standard for virtual power plants and build on top of Swell Energy’s deployments in mainland America. This fleet of shippable energy resources benefits the utility and enables customers to save money and join together on a more resilient network, ”said Suleman Khan, CEO of Swell Energy.

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details: Swell’s VPPs are based on an aggregated network of distributed energy resources that provide utility companies and their customers with a variety of benefits. This large scale commercial VPP in Hawaii represents a major advancement in battery technology and capability. The Hawaii program delivers more than 25 megawatts of solar power, coupled with over 80 megawatts of batteries and 100 megawatt hours of stored energy, provides capacity and frequency response for the three Island networks and at the same time reduces the bills for participating customers. Swell is starting the first phase of its VPP program in partnership with RevoluSun, a solar company for private households in Hawaii.

Swell Energy will improve Hawaiian Electric’s energy supply by relieving the grids of excess renewable energy when production increases and by absorbing excess wind energy when needed. This reduces peak demand and provides a fast frequency response around the clock to balance the networks. The storage systems for renewable energies react dynamically to the network requirements from moment to moment.

The program is available to customers in Oahu, Maui, and the Island of Hawaii who are seeking solar power with a home battery for backup, as well as customers who already have solar systems with storage installed. This is one of several VPPs that Swell Energy is launching with other investor-owned utilities and community choice aggregation programs in the United States. These VPPs provide a variety of bespoke network services tailored to the needs of the communities and utilities they serve. In particular, the Hawaii program will be Swell Energy’s largest VPP to date.

“Our islands have small, self-contained networks of high-quality renewable energy generation, making them sensitive to supply and demand imbalances,” said Yoh Kawanami, co-director of energy resources at Hawaiian Electric. “This project is an important opportunity for Hawaiian Electric and Swell Energy to develop an innovative portfolio of custom resources that meet a wide variety of grid needs and provide our customers with additional choices and benefits.”

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