MECO earns top 10 nationwide ranking

Maui Electric Co. ranked seventh for connecting energy storage to the grid, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance that surveyed 412 utilities nationwide.

The top 10 utilities for most new solar watts in total and per customer and total energy storage watts and storage watts per customer were recognized at the annual SEPA Utility Conference held in Tucson, Ariz., April 24-26.

Energy storage projects on MECO grids include a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at the company’s Wailea Substation in South Maui and projects with the independently owned Auwahi and Kaheawa wind farms on Maui and the Lana’i Sustainability Research solar farm.

A BESS is currently being tested on Molokai, the utility added.

In 2016, 37 percent of the electricity used by MECO customers came from renewable resources, including private solar power, wind and hydroelectricity, the utility said.

The Smart Electric Power Alliance is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the utility industry’s transition to a clean energy future through education, research and collaboration. For more information, visit www.sepapower.org.

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