Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (Altairnano) today announced it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hawai'i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and the Hawai'i Electric Light Company to supply a one-megawatt ALTI-ESS energy storage system for a test of wind energy integration.
Under the MOU, Altairnano will provide the ALTI-ESS battery-based power management system to smooth the output of an operating wind farm with a high-rate of charging and discharging of the energy storage system.
"Altairnano technology was selected for this project based on its unique values of long cycle life and very rapid charge and discharge capabilities," said Dr. Rick Rocheleau, HNEI director. "These characteristics are expected to help meet the integration challenges of high-penetration wind energy sources."
The project is designed to test the performance characteristics of the battery and to demonstrate the effectiveness of battery storage technology to integrate wind energy into an electric grid. The test is expected to demonstrate solutions for integration of greater levels of renewable energy onto the grid, improving capacity utilization, and reducing dependency on fossil-fuel power generation while maintaining grid performance and reliability.
Terry Copeland, Altairnano president and CEO, said, "This project will show the value of our technology to cost-effectively meet the performance requirements for fast energy storage needed for wind integration, and we look forward to working with our partners to provide Hawai'i Electric Light Company with the means to increase their use of renewable energy sources."
Hawai'i Electric Light Company plans to install the energy storage system at the Hawi Renewable Development wind farm on the north end of Hawai'i's Big Island.
"We are looking forward to pursuing this opportunity with HNEI and Altairnano," said Jay Ignacio, Hawai'i Electric Light Company president. "Over one-third of our energy is produced from renewable sources. Our goal is to reduce our fossil fuel dependency to zero. This project will help us better understand how we can achieve our goal."
The memorandum of understanding is nonbinding. A definitive agreement reflecting the terms of the memorandum is expected to be finalized by the 4th quarter of 2010 with system installation in the first half of 2011.
The Office of Naval Research is providing funding for the project through a grant to the University of Hawai'i. Projects that support the Department of Navy's energy programs to demonstrate technologies that enable increased implementation of alternative energy sources and promote energy security, are made possible by the efforts of Senator Inouye, Senate Appropriations Chair, to ensure that the Department of Defense is adequately resourced to make these critical and cutting edge investments in energy technology.