AI storage system enables hotel participation in Hawaii grid management

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A hotel and resorts company in Hawaii has partnered with Stem to install an energy storage system, a development which will allow participation in the state utility’s grid management initiative.

Sheraton Waikiki selected Stem for the provision, installation and management of 500KWh battery energy storage system.

The energy storage firm will provide its artificial intelligence based customer-sited battery storage technology Athena to help Sheraton Waikiki achieve it’s environmental sustainability goals.

The battery is said to be the largest customer-sited system to participate in a utility programme in Hawaii.

Set for completion by the end of 2018, the system will be used by Hawaii Electric to test its first “crossover” project towards digital management systems and new grid services.

Stem will operate the system under the current Fast Demand Response programme and analog approach, and then “flip the software switch” to turn it into one of the first systems operating for both local peak-shaving services and as a grid resource in the utility’s new grid services programmes.

The energy storage system is expected to help the hotel reduce its energy costs by avoiding use of energy from the main grid during peak periods. The project will help expand both the hotel and state’s renewable energy portfolio.

Eric Au, area director of engineering, Marriott Resorts and Hotels in Hawaii and French Polynesia, said: “Intelligent energy storage is the next step in Sheraton’s environmental sustainability projects, because it enables us to take control of our energy usage and fully realise the value of our other recent energy investments.

“The Stem platform provides the hotel real-time energy optimisation in our planning and operating decisions, while enabling the community around our facilities to smooth the variability and integration of higher penetrations of renewable energy.”

Richard Barone, manager of demand response at Hawaiian Electric, added: “The Sheraton project marks a transition for Hawaiian Electric from the old method of interacting with customer-sited resources to the new, and Hawaiian Electric is proud to be partnering with Sheraton Waikiki on this project.

“As Sheraton continues its long-standing tradition of good grid citizenship, this project truly marks a new milestone in our long-term partnership.”

John Carrington, CEO of Stem, reiterated: “We are excited to support Sheraton’s interests to control their energy costs and Hawaii’s transition to a renewable-based system that is digital, distributed, and managed in real-time.

“Stem’s artificial intelligence-based platform behind this novel project will enable Hawaiian Electric to test new storage operations and build the confidence needed to seamlessly make the digital transition.”

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.