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“The findings of this study show it is feasible to integrate large-scale wind and solar projects on Oʻahu but also have value beyond Hawaiʻi. Both large mainland utilities and relatively small and/or isolated grids that wish to integrate significant amounts of renewable energy while maintaining reliability for their customers can learn from this study,” said Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) director Dr. Rick Rocheleau, regarding a study which shows that 500 MW of wind energy and 100 MW of solar power could supply more than 25% of O’ahu’s projected electricity demand.
The Oʻahu Wind Integration Study (OWIS) was conducted by Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, General Electric (GE) Company, and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO).
The study found that the combined 600 MW of renewable energy could eliminate the need for approximately 2.8 million barrels of low sulphur fuel oil and 132,000 tonnes of coal each year, while still maintaining a reliable system, if the following recommendations are incorporated:
“To reach our renewable energy goals we need to use all the resources available to us. For O’ahu, this includes the utility-scale solar, roof-top solar, waste-to-energy and on-island wind that we are pursuing. But on-island resources are not enough to meet Oʻahu’s power needs,” said Hawaiian Electric executive vice president Robbie Alm.
“We know that more solar power is possible on Oʻahu than was studied by the OWIS. However, this baseline study is an essential first step for the Interisland Wind Project. It shows that the technology may present challenges but these can be overcome. The questions now are financing, environmental impact and whether the affected communities can live with the project with community benefits.”
The wind energy not produced on O’ahu would be brought in from Molokaʻi and Lana’i.
I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium. I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.