In 2014, Aquion Energy completed installation of a 1 MWh battery system as part of an off-grid solar microgrid at Bakken Hale on the Island of Hawaii. Bakken Hale, a private residential estate, is located along the environmentally sensitive Kona Coast and cannot be connected to the grid. The Aquion battery system stores energy generated from a large on-site solar installation and enables Bakken Hale to operate entirely from self-generated solar power.
Earl Bakken, founder of Medtronic, Inc. and owner of Bakken Hale stated, “I want to demonstrate that using a solar and battery-powered microgrid is our best solution now. This installation will enable us to meet our around-the-clock power needs with solar generation and will reduce our fossil fuel usage by 97 percent. We were drawn to Aquion’s battery products because they are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and long-lasting.”
The off-grid microgrid system was designed and installed by Renewable Energy Services, Inc. (RES), an experienced solar system installer in Hawaii. The microgrid uses a 176 kW solar array, 1 MWh Aquion AHI M-Line Battery Modules, and a propane-fueled generator used solely for emergency backup. The system is sized for three days of autonomy. The batteries will charge from the solar array during daylight hours, and discharge to provide nighttime power on a daily 8-hour charge/16-hour discharge cycle. Aquion battery systems are well suited for this type of long-duration, daily cycling charge/discharge profile.
This solar microgrid provides a clean, sustainable energy system that meets the needs of an environmentally sensitive site. The system is designed to generate 350 MWh per year silently from the sun, with little to no maintenance. Over that time, the system will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 5,000 metric tons. Bakken Hale is expected to reduce fossil fuel usage by 97%.