French battery maker Saft has secured a multi-million dollar
contract to supply the Hawaiian island of Kauai with an
energy storage system based on lithium-ion (
The company, which designs and manufactures advanced technology
batteries for industrial use, will provide the Kauai Island
Utility Electricity Co-operative (KIUC) with a battery energy
storage system (BESS), consisting of eight containers of its
Intensium Max 20 M batteries and two containers housing a 6 MW
|Going green: the Hawaiian islan of Kauai is to use
to regulate electricity supply form renewable
The batteries will be used to stabilise the islands
energy grid, which serves a population of 65,000. Kauai is the
fourth largest inhabited island in the Hawaiian
The batteries consist of a
cylindrical cell, called the VL41M, with a capacity of 41 ah
[ampere-hour], Saft told IM.
The positive electrode
material is lithium nickel-cobalt-aluminium oxide (NCA), on an
aluminium foil substrate. Graphite is the negative material and
is on a copper foil substrate. The VL41M cell is half a litre
in volume and weighs 1.1 kg. Each container consists of 290
modules and each module contains of 14 cells, giving a total of
4060 cells total per container, it added.
In addition to numerous energy storage installations,
Saft said that the same technology is used in satellites,
Formula One cars, Joint Strike Fighter jets and numerous other
Li-ion batteries and cells are major target markets for
both the graphite and lithium mining
industries, with many junior developers looking to exponential
consumption growth to absorb new supply.
Li-ion batteries enable
KIUCs decision to use a Li-ion energy storage system
is part of the co-operatives strategy to diversify
Kauais energy mix, which involves increasing the share of
electricity generated through renewable sources such as
hydropower, PV, biofuels and biomass.
One of the problems associated with renewable energy is
intermittency, but this can be mitigated by storing power.
Saft began working on large format Li-ion cells in 1995,
with the aim of improving grid storage capabilities. The
company began producing the cells on a small scale in 1998, but
has since expanded its manufacturing capacity, most recently
with the opening of a Li-ion facility in Jacksonville, Florida,
One of its latest commercial developments has been the VL41M
energy storage cell, which is the kind to be used in Kauai.
The batteries will be deployed in a new $50m, 12 MW
photovoltaic park currently under construction in Anahola on
Kauais east coast, funded by KUIC and the Department of
Hawaiian Home Lands and the Homestead Community Development
The contract establishes Saft as the main provider of energy
storage batteries in Hawaii and the company says that the
contract is part of a growing trend in favour of Li-ion
solutions for island communities.
With other BESS contracts in the works, this agreement
is indicative of the expanding renewables market relying on
Li-ion energy storage within island nations, said Blake
Frye, vice president of sales and energy storage at Saft.
Vertically integrated KUIC is the only licenced supplier of
electricity and its network has a maximum load of 78 MW and
comprises around 35,000 metres with 13 substations fed by three
active electricity production sites.
Deliveries for the contract, the exact value of which was
not disclosed, are slated to begin in October this
|Saft's Intensium Max Li-ion containers will be
installed in Kauai's new
$50m power generation park (source: