Wet’n’Wild Hawaii and energy storage firm Stem Inc., flipped the switch to activate a customer-sited energy storage system in Hawaii, supported by Hawaii’s Energy Excelerator, the Hawaiian Electric Co. and the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.
The Wet’N’Wild system—108 kW / 216 kWh—is part of a three-year pilot to deploy electric storage systems at about 30 local businesses on O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island, using Stem’s storage solution to help improve reliable electric service for customers of utilities with high levels of rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources. The project will be part of the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative’s “Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES) to demonstrate visibility and control of edge-of-network resources.
With its robust software platform, supported by real-time data and predictive analytics, Stem will work to better integrate energy storage at customer sites to help customers manage their loads and provide the Hawaiian Electric Companies with grid responsive resources. For the first time, grid operators will be able to see and manage customer-sited resources, including energy storage, alongside conventional generation resources from their existing control platforms.
“We follow the sun. Our hours of operation are specifically during peak times for sunlight, so this project is very attractive for us,” said Jerry Pupillo, Wet’n’Wild Hawaii general manager. “The batteries will kick in to decrease that peak usage spike we have always battled. This makes dollars and sense for us as a business as our peak use determines the rate we pay. Big picture: this could help the utility avoid building another power plant because with battery storage our electricity use can be more precise and controlled to help manage the grid.”
“Hawaiian Electric is very happy to partner with Wet’n’Wild in our distributed energy storage pilot with Stem,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate planning and business development. “With this ‘behind-the-meter’ storage at our customers’ sites, we can help them manage how they use energy with technologies that have dual value, saving participating customers money and improving grid reliability and efficiency for all our customers.”
Stem’s grid-interactive storage system at Wet’n’Wild will be the largest system in the pilot, making up about 10 percent of the overall battery capacity being deployed. “Wet’n’Wild has heavy load throughout the day with major swings in demand as the rides at the park turn on and off, so this will be a great example of the value that energy storage can bring as it evens out those peaks,” added Kimura.
“Customer-sited storage is a valuable resource that delivers reliable capacity when it’s needed most and automatically reduces customers’ peak energy use and utility bills. This pilot project supports Hawaii’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 and serves as a model for other utilities and companies to follow,” said Tad Glauthier, vice president of Hawaii operations at Stem. “When utilities partner with companies that share this vision and commitment, we can build grid-scale batteries that compete with fossil-fuel based resources. In this case, we can do it without taking up any more of Hawaii’s precious land or placing an extra burden on ratepayers. Wet’n’Wild is truly leading the way with their participation in this project.”