Living in a place committed to a swift transition to 100% clean energy, where one-third of the population boasts rooftop solar, and 15% of new cars are electric might sound like a dream.

However, for Americans, it's a reality in Hawaii.

With a pledge to be "Coal free by ’23" and a state law targeting 100% clean energy in the next 21 years, Hawaii is making significant strides towards its ambitious goal. The recent activation of a massive 185-megawatt battery near Honolulu, known as the Kapolei Energy Storage facility, brings the state closer to achieving its clean energy objectives.

Located about 20 miles west of Honolulu on eight acres of industrial land, the facility comprises 158 white storage sheds, resembling shipping containers. These lithium iron phosphate batteries have a storage capacity of 185 megawatts, capable of powering 17% of O’ahu for three hours.

While grid-scale energy storage systems are becoming more common in the U.S., Hawaii stands out. According to Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric's senior vice president of planning and technology, this battery system is the largest in the world concerning its percentage of the electricity system.

Hawaii, with its abundance of wind, sun, and geothermal power, has no fossil fuel resources. The majority of its energy comes from oil, transported by supertankers from as far away as 6,000 miles, making the state susceptible to disruptions and high costs. The Kapolei Energy Storage facility aims to bring stability, lower prices, and a greener environment by shifting towards local, renewable energy sources.

The state, with each of its six main islands having a separate electrical grid, already derives 32% of its energy from renewables. Hawaii's innovative Battery Bonus program, introduced in 2022, incentivizes households to install rooftop solar and battery storage, feeding excess electricity back into the grid during peak hours.

Hawaii's emphasis on solar power, combined with a record 37% of homes having rooftop solar, positions it as a global leader in harnessing solar energy. The Kapolei battery, along with such initiatives, contributes to the state's commitment to reaching 100% renewable energy, making Hawaii a trailblazer in America's clean energy landscape.