University of Hawai'i makes first step toward - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  July 20, 2020

University of Hawai'i makes first step toward being net-zero system-wide

Leeward Community College became the University of Hawai’i’s first virtually net-zero campus and is now generating 97% of its energy use through on-site solar.

The campus has installed 3,579 solar panels that are capable of generating 1.678 MW of power annually with additional distributed energy storage infrastructure. The campus also implemented energy efficiency projects to lower their consumption, and expect to save $269,000 in energy and operational costs for the first year and $8.4 million over the project’s 20-year performance period.

“Our campus will be producing nearly 3 million kWh of energy annually,” Chancellor Carlos Peñaloza said in a statement. “Combined with our energy-saving measures, we can proudly say we are energy independent. I am extremely proud of all the thoughtful work that was a part of this accomplishment. The project has helped to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable practices for our community.”

The University of Hawai’i partnered with Johnson Controls and Hawaiian Electric Industries subsidiary Pacific Current to soon reduce the fossil fuel consumption at their college campuses in Maui, Honolulu, Kapi’olani and Windward by a range of 70 to 80%. The university system as a whole intends to be fully net-zero before 2035 across all 10 campuses.

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