- The Hawaii Public Utilities Fee on Tuesday authorized an emergency demand response program to assist cut back attainable useful resource shortfalls after the 180 MW AES coal plant on Oahu retires in September 2022.
- This system, which regulators hope will sort out reliability challenges by way of “a coordinated and complete method,” contains two elements: implementing a scheduled dispatched program, in addition to attemptingto enhance an present quick demand response program to full capability.
- The order “reveals that rooftop photo voltaic and batteries will be much more versatile and fast in assembly grid wants compared to utility-scale assets, which may take 4 to 5 years to course of and set up,” stated Rocky Mould, govt director of the Hawaii Photo voltaic Vitality Affiliation (HSEA).
Hawaii power regulators are racing to plan for the retirement of the Oahu coal plant next year. The ability presently meets roughly 15% of demand on the island, and Hawaiian Electrical (HECO) is seeking to substitute it partly with a collection of renewables and storage initiatives. However the fee is worried that delays to these initiatives might threaten grid reliability, and the utility has acknowledged that reserves can be tight going into the autumn of 2022.
The newly authorized emergency demand response program is a part of the state’s technique to sort out that problem. It contains an as much as 50 MW scheduled dispatch program, slated to start in July, which can be open to present and new clients with distributed power assets who’re in a position so as to add new battery storage capability that may be charged from their PV system. Prospects might want to make a ten-year dedication to this system, the preliminary section of which can proceed by way of the top of 2023. Throughout that point, scheduled dispatch can be required for 2 hours every single day, doubtless throughout peak durations, and taking part clients will obtain upfront incentives.
One other a part of the fee’s technique is the prevailing quick DR program, below which clients are financially incentivized to proactively preserve power throughout grid emergencies. This system has a present capability of 4.5 MW — regardless of being approved as much as 7 MW — and the fee is pushing HECO to succeed in that quantity, whereas additionally leaving the choice on the desk to broaden this system’s capability even additional down the road.
HECO is now tasked with creating an implementation plan for the scheduled dispatch program, together with figuring out attainable revisions to present tariffs and contracts. HECO is reviewing the order and plans to satisfy the deadline for submitting subsequent steps inside 10 days, utility spokesperson Peter Rosegg stated in an e-mail.
The HSEA views the order as a win for the native photo voltaic trade, based on Mould.
“Whereas the compensation ranges weren’t fairly as excessive as we advisable, we nonetheless assume this can be a great jolt to the marketplace for the following couple of years, to satisfy this emergency want,” he stated.
Mould famous that final 12 months, when California skilled its rolling blackouts, greater than 30,000 distributed batteries discharged between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Aug. 14, contributing 147 MW of capability to the grid and lowering the severity of the reliability disaster.
“This ruling is absolutely, once more, affirming the worth of DERs, untapped and unappreciated … and the resilience worth can also be coming to the fore,” he stated.