A new report from the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) suggeststhat the island of O’ahu could meet a quarter of its electricity needsusing solar power and wind resources.
“The findings of this study show it is feasible to integratelarge-scale wind and solar projects on Oahu but also have value beyondHawaii. Both large mainland utilities and relatively small and/orisolated grids that wish to integrate significant amounts of renewableenergy while maintaining reliability for their customers can learn fromthis study,” said Hawaii HNEI director Dr. Rick Rocheleau.
Hawaii is home to both the nation’s highest retail electricity prices and the most ambitious renewable energy standard. The HNEI studyenvisions integrating ”400 megawatts (MW) wind power from Molokai and Lanai supplied through an undersea cable combined with 100 MW of wind and 100 MW of solar power located on O’ahu.”
As a big importer of energy sources, Hawaii is taking meaningfulsteps to increase the amount of electricity it generates on the islands. The HNEI study suggests the 500 MW in total could help a good deal onthis front:
[t]he electricity supplied from these sources wouldreduce Hawai’i’s fossil fuel consumption by approximately 2.8 millionbarrels of low sulfur fuel oil and 132,000 tons of coal each year.
The full report (PDF) is available on HNEI website.
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