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Altairnano Selected by Hawai’i Natural Energy Institute for Wind Energy Integration Demonstration Project

Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hawai’i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and the Hawai’i Electric Light Company to supply a one-megawatt ALTI-ESS energy storage system for a test of wind energy integration.

Under the MOU, Altairnano will provide the ALTI-ESS battery-based power management system to smooth the output of an operating wind farm with a high-rate of charging and discharging of the energy storage system.

The project is designed to test the performance characteristics of the battery and to demonstrate the effectiveness of battery storage technology to integrate wind energy into an electric grid. The test is expected to demonstrate solutions for integration of greater levels of renewable energy onto the grid, improving capacity utilization, and reducing dependency on fossil-fuel power generation while maintaining grid performance and reliability.

Hawai’i Electric Light Company plans to install the energy storage system at the Hawi Renewable Development wind farm on the north end of Hawai’i’s Big Island.

A definitive agreement reflecting the terms of the memorandum is expected to be finalized by the 4th quarter of 2010 with system installation in the first half of 2011.

The Office of Naval Research is providing funding for the project through a grant to the University of Hawai’i.



Seems to be a good decision. Altair's batteries are rugged and long lasting and should do the job for many years.

Dave R

Sounds very similar to the tests that Xcel just finished with a 1MW / 7.2 MWh NGK sulfur-sodium battery. They reported that the system performed as expected and are looking to perform additional testing to help optimize charge/discharge profiles.


Hawaii can use renewable energy and should have done all of this decades ago. An island economy that brings in tankers of oil to run power stations is doomed as soon as OPEC gets a hold of pricing. They did that back in 1973,


Unfortunately if costs more than 40 cents per kw to purchase electric in Hawaii. Hugely excessive profits are being reaped from the Hawaiian wind farms and Geo Thermal energy. The government allows for setting the price for electric generated from a renewable source equal to whatever the highest rate is that can be found in the US for electricity generated from any source. Pity to poor Hawaiian public for having to pay 2 1/2 times the average cost.


Many things cost more in Hawaii. Solar panels are installed on home roofs because they payback more quickly at those rates. My point is, geothermal and wind could have been done on a major scale decades ago, it is nothing new. Once you have all the renewable energy, electric cars are a natural.


Hawaii may soon come to realize that it could become THE renewable energy capital of the world. Pioneering geotherm and wind is one way. Solar and wave/tidal action is another. All four methods are abundant on Hawaii's islands and opportunities abound for public/private ventures to demo them.

It would be interesting to offer an X-Prize style competition for the most innovative plan to build an integrated multi-source grid in Hawaii. e.g. Primary electric generated by geothermal (constant energy source) and supplemented by wind, solar and tidal/wave.

The solar component could use concentrators for large scale, and for home owners roof panels to spin meters back.

All quite speculative except that designing a system like this would be a huge boon to sustainable resources. Should Hawaii become 100% energy independent - global view of sustainable energy would be vastly improved.


And Altair seems a good fit here. They've had trouble finding the right match for their technology. This is a strong showing for their mass storage systems. Congrats to Alti.


When you are marketing for a company like this, if you can not make it in one sector, you find another. It is revenue and not whether you can be dominate in the sector everyone else is going for.

John L.

It would be interesting to offer an X-Prize style competition for the most innovative plan to build an integrated multi-source grid in Hawaii. e.g. Primary electric generated by geothermal (constant energy source) and supplemented by wind, solar and tidal/wave.

Hawaii is trickier than it might seem at first glance. The Big Island's geothermal resources have remained largely undeveloped, in part because because traditional Hawaiians consider the volcanic sites to be sacred. So you need to supply base-load electricity, but you may not get all the geothermal that you would like.

How else might you do it? Well, a German study implied that a mix of solar, wind, biomass burning, and bi-directional hydroelectric would work in their country. However, volcanic soils are extremely porous. Can you even build reservoirs in Hawaii? This is where I think that Altair's battery bank fills an important need.

A third option for Hawaii that is not easy to implement elsewhere is ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). You need a deep, tropical ocean. A demonstration OTEC generator was built near Kona quite a few decades ago, and as I recall it works quite well. I don't know how well the technology would scale up.

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