Hawaii is famous for many things – surfing, Hawaii 5-0, grass skirts, and the sun, so it seems obvious that the islands would embrace solar power. A new study by Hawaii’s Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, General Electric (GE) Company, and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has revealed that Oahu could fulfill 25% of its energy demands by taking advantage of 500 MW of wind power and 100 MW of solar power.

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The study, called the Oahu Wind Integration Study (OWIS), found that 600 MW of renewable energy could eliminate the need for approximately 2.8 million barrels of low-sulphur oil and 132,000 tonnes of coal each year.

“The findings of this study show it is feasible to integrate large-scale wind and solar projects on Oahu but [they] also have value beyond Hawaii. 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 Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) director Dr. Rick Rocheleau.

“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.

Now if only they could harness honeymooning couples for energy…

+ Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI)

Via Planet Save

Lead photo by Steve Jurvetson