Swell Energy wins approval for 100 MWh VPP

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The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved Swell Energy’s $25 million contract with Hawaiian Electric to deliver grid services through an aggregated “virtual power plant” (VPP) on three islands.

The California-based energy and smart grid solutions provider will deploy behind-the-meter solar-powered home batteries to roughly 6,000 residential customers to create a VPP on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii islands.

Swell’s VPPs are based on an aggregated network of distributed energy resources that provide a variety of benefits. The Hawaii program will deliver more than 25 MW of solar power, paired with more than 80 MW of batteries and 100 MWh of stored energy, delivering capacity and frequency response to the three island grids.

The contract was awarded in response to Hawaiian Electric’s request for dispatchable energy storage and renewable generation through distributed energy resources, along with capacity and ancillary services.

Swell Energy will augment Hawaiian Electric’s energy supply by relieving the grids of excess renewable energy as production spikes and absorbing excess wind energy when needed. The result is intended to reduce peak demand and provide fast frequency response to balance the grids. The renewable energy storage systems will collectively respond to grid needs dynamically, moment-to-moment.

The program is available to Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island customers who are seeking solar energy with a home battery for backup capability, as well as those who already have solar systems with storage installed. Swell Energy said this is one of several VPPs that it is launching with other investor-owned utilities and community-choice aggregation programs in the U.S. The Hawaii program will form Swell Energy’s largest VPP to date.

Swell said it is launching the first phase of its VPP program in partnership with RevoluSun, the leading residential solar company in Hawaii.

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