158 Tesla Megapacks En Route to Hawaii, Set to Replace Last Coal Power Plant

According to a report from Electrek, Hawaii is building a massive new battery energy storage system (BESS) on the island of Oahu using 158 Tesla Megapacks. The project will replace the state’s last remaining coal-burning power plant.

Dubbed the Kapolei Energy Storage (KES) facility, the project will store excess solar power generated during the day and supply power to the local energy grid during the evening. Hawaii plans to hit 100% green energy generation by 2045.

The coal power plant KES will replace used to maintain grid frequency, and the Megapack-powered facility will inherit that responsibility as well.

Once completed, KES will become one of the largest battery-backed storage systems in the world. The facility, being built in partnership with Plus Power and Hawaiian Electric, has a planned capacity of 185 megawatts/​565 megawatt-hours.

Hawaii expects the facility to be up and running by September 2022. The state’s last remaining coal plant, located just down the road from the KES site, is slated to be decommissioned the same month.

This isn’t Tesla’s first energy project in Hawaii. The company has been working with Hawaiian Electric on several large battery systems as well as a virtual power plant based on Tesla Powerwalls.

Plus Power’s lead developer Bob Rudd said during a ground blessing ceremony for KES last year:

Here, today, on Oahu, Plus Power and Hawaiian Electric are sending a postcard from the future. ​I’m certain that someday we’ll all look back, when there are dozens of projects just like KES on the mainland and all across the world, and we’ll think, ​’We were there. Hawaii showed the world how to do it first.’

According to Plus Power, the Megapack-based storage facility will also function as a “black-start” system to jump-start the island’s electric grid if it gets shut down by a disaster.

Tesla’s Megapacks are making their way into grids of all sizes. Earlier this year, the Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. announced it would be adding a Megapack to its microgrid.

Megapack projects aren’t limited to North America, either. 300 MWh worth of Megapacks will make up Australia’s largest approved grid battery, and TagEnergy in January broke ground on a 49.5MW/99MWh Megapack-backed standalone energy storage facility in the U.K.