Tesla Megapack battery turns on to replace Hawaii’s last coal plant


A Tesla Megapack battery system has officially turned on to replace Hawaii’s very last coal power plant.

In early 2022, we reported that Tesla is deploying Megapacks at a new energy storage project that will replace Hawaii’s last remaining coal plant.

The project, called Kapolei Energy Storage, is located on the industrial west side of Oahu and consists of a massive 185MW/565MWh Tesla Megapack system.

Ironically, the Megapacks arrived late in late 2022 along with Hawaii’s last shipment of coal for the state’s last coal plant, which closed in September of the same year.

It took a while, but today, Plus Power, which owns and operates the battery system, announced that the energy storage project is now online.

The company claimed that it is ‘the most advanced grid-scale battery energy storage system in the world’:

Plus Power announced it has begun operating its Kapolei Energy Storage facility on Oahu, Hawaii, the most advanced grid-scale battery energy storage system in the world, helping transition the state’s electric power from coal and oil to solar and wind. 

The 158 Tesla Megapack 2 XL battery units are going to be used for load shifting and fast-frequency response services on the Hawaii Electric grid.

It will enable better use of the state’s increasing renewable energy.

Plus Power claims that it is “the most advanced battery in the world” due to its wide-ranging grid service capabilities.

Brandon Keefe, Plus Power’s Executive Chairman, explained:

“This is a landmark milestone in the transition to clean energy. It’s the first time a battery has been used by a major utility to balance the grid: providing fast frequency response, synthetic inertia, and black start. This project is a postcard from the future — batteries will soon be providing these services, at scale, on the mainland.” 

Interestingly, Plus Power revealed that the Tesla Megapacks that they are using are built with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells.

Hawaii aims to reach 100% green energy by 2045 and already has the highest amount of solar capacity deployed per capita. However, in order to handle all that renewable energy, the state needs to balance it with energy storage capacity since the sun doesn’t always shine.

Projects like this one are trying to close that gap.

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