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Published on March 22nd, 2011 | by Important Media Cross-Post

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Oʻahu Could Supply 25% of Its Electricity Demand from Onshore Wind & Solar Energy

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March 22nd, 2011 by
 
oahu

Update: There are a couple of good comments below that add useful context to the O’ahu findings. Since it is a rather critical point, here’s one of them, from Bob Wallace:

Wind and solar could provide 100% of O’ahu’s projected electricity demand if they included some storage and demand response.

The 25% cited in this article is similar to what was found for the Western mainland grid. The Western grid could accept up to 30% wind (25%) and solar (5%) without adding storage. It’s what the grids can accept in their current configuration.

500 MW of wind power and 100 MW of solar power could supply more than 25% of O’ahu’s projected electricity demand, a new study, the Oʻahu Wind Integration Study (OWIS), conducted by Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, General Electric (GE) Company, and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) shows.

“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.

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 certain recommendations are incorporated.

More: Wind and Solar Could Reliably Supply 25 Percent of Oahu Electricity Demand

Photo via JPhilipson

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  • http://jaybanks.ca Jay Banks

    Every country has specific possibilities of using alternative energy sources. I assume that priority of many people will be energy prices that can highlight certain source of energy in their neighbourhood. These localities with better usage of lower cost of energy sources can be better valued for real estate prices and other living cost so it may bring more people to stay in that area.

  • http://gridflexenergy.com Matthew Shapiro

    It is unfortunate that the study didn’t have the budget to look at how storage might play a role. Gridflex Energy’s Lanai Pumped Storage project announced last year would make a huge difference, turning the 400 MW of wind from Lanai and Molokai into firm capacity. Under the current strategy, the old oil-fired generators will be ramped up and down to help absorb the wind, which will increase their operating costs and decrease their efficiency. Not to mention that the firm capacity base would be eroded in the current strategy, while with Lanai Pumped Storage, new capacity is created.

  • Bob Wallace

    Wind and solar could provide 100% of O’ahu’s projected electricity demand if they included some storage and demand response.

    The 25% cited in this article is similar to what was found for the Western mainland grid. The Western grid could accept up to 30% wind (25%) and solar (5%) without adding storage. It’s what the grids can accept in their current configuration.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com Zachary Shahan

      Good points, Bob. Thanks for adding them

  • bryan

    Duh, renewables at remote, isolated locating WINNING. Fossils losing.

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