Kauai Island in Hawaii uses the first and biggest combined battery and solar PV system in the world.
The system produces enough solar energy during the day to power up to 45,000 houses ion Kauai during the night.
What is new in the system that combines solar PV panels and batteries to store the energy produced during the day is the amount of solar power stored.
The project is commissioned by Kauai’s Island Utility Cooperative and is owned by Tesla.
The solar project consists in a number of 55,000 solar panels that are spread over a 50 acres land used in the past by a former sugar cane farm land.
The panels are producing solar power during the day, which is stored in the Tesla batteries and is used to feed the island’s grid during peak hours of the evening.
The system helps the island to rely less on fossil fuels.
The price of gas and oil is unstable, but the cost of the system is stable at least for the next 20 years (the contract with Tesla is locked for 20 years).
It is very expensive to get fossil fuels on the island, but the system helps the island to save about 10 million gallons of fossil fuel a year (from which 1.3 million gallons of diesel).
Michael Yamane, chief of operations at Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, considers that the system represents the grid of the future in terms of reliability.
Kauai Island Utility Cooperative still runs some conventional energy generation, but with the development of more systems like this, the utility hopes to lower the use of fossil fuels even more.
Kauai Island uses today about 42% renewable energy, and plans to rely only on renewable energy sources by the year 2045.
Tesla found another green solution to keep the grass located between and under the solar panels at low level.
Sheep represent the green solution to keep the grass at a low level.
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