Kauai Launches Two Clean Energy Projects - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Microgrids, Sourcing Renewables  -  November 23, 2021

Kauai Launches Two Clean Energy Projects

Kauai is improving its energy efficiency with two energy projects on the Hawaiian island. 

The first project is a microgrid located on the west side of the island and was completed at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), allowing it to become self-sufficient for its electricity needs in the event of a loss of transmission feed from the utility grid. The PMRF can now leverage a 14-megawatt (MW) solar facility paired with a 70 MWh battery energy storage system sited on the base. 

The system ensures the installation has power in case of a loss of the transmission feed from the utility grid, which could happen during a severe weather event.

“This partnership allows PMRF to have direct access to the power source, resulting in reliable and clean grid power while simultaneously reducing reliance on diesel generators," said Lt. Commander Terence White, PMRF Public Works Officer in a statement. "This Enhanced Use Lease project better supports Department of Defense testing and evaluation objectives by utilizing PMRF's new grid consolidation infrastructure to increase resiliency—through both planned and unplanned events."

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) partnered with the U.S. Department of the Navy to support clean energy and resilience at installations globally, including this project. 

In another project on Kauai, the Kauai Beach Resort said it entered into a 15-year Energy as a Service (EaaS) agreement with Ameresco, Inc., which will allow the 25-acre oceanfront resort to update and replace its energy-related equipment without any up-front capital.

 Ameresco will install new lighting and air conditioning equipment in several phases over the next two years and maintain the improvements for the following 15 years. The upgrades include replacing 350 fan coil units with smart thermostats and humidity controls, a new central chiller plant with added redundancy for AC and hot water, new electrical transformers, a new building automation system to monitor and control temperatures in guest rooms, the kitchens, and ballrooms, and updating the exterior lighting with LEDs throughout the resort.  Ameresco expects to complete construction in the summer of 2023.

“It is imperative that we continually look for ways to innovate and provide our guests with an unforgettable experience,” said Ben Dookchitra, Kauai Beach resort board president in a statement. “We are so excited to partner with Ameresco on this project to implement solutions that will reduce our energy demand and make our resort more sustainable.”

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