On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, the Hawaiian Electric Company has put out a tender for one or more large-scale energy storage systems able to store 60 to 200MW for up to 30 minutes, the islands’ largest electricity supplier confirmed.

Bids are invited from companies that offer services include engineering, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning, start-up and performance verification.

The energy storage systems, which are to be in service by 2017, are required to meet goals to add more renewable generation to the Oahu grid, the utility said.

More than 11 per cent of Hawaiian Electric’s customers use rooftop solar and the island has utility-scale wind and solar projects.

Colton Ching, vice president for energy delivery at Hawaiian Electric, commented on the need for energy storage to avoid customer outages: “Energy storage is one of the key missing elements in integrating high levels of renewable energy from variable sources like solar and wind.”

Potential contractors will be evaluated on the overall cost of their proposals and non-price factors such as design concept and feasibility, implementation and operational viability and operating flexibility.

Bidders are invited to propose the best available technologies, including batteries, mechanical flywheels, capacitors, compressed gas systems, pumped hydro storage or a combination of such technologies.

Any project selected with a cost of US$2.5 million or more must be reviewed and approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) with input from the Consumer Advocate.

The target is to complete and file energy storage agreements with the PUC by the end of 2014.

Bidders must provide a schedule with the goal of having the energy storage system in service in the first quarter of 2017.

The deadline for bid submissions is July 21, 2014.

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