Maui Altenative Energy News

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Maui made it into the pages of the New York Times today as Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard and Sharp announced plans for a new smart grid project on Maui. The smart grid project is scheduled to have a pilot study completed by September with implementation coming by 2015. Maui currently relies on renewable energies for 15% of its energy demands. While Maui’s abundant sunshine and wind make it an ideal locale for alternative energy, smart grid technologies and improved energy storage technology are necessary for adaptation of alternative energy to the 70% renewable level targeted by 2030. Alternative energy has some challenges when power output fluctuates due to lack of wind or sun. Smart grids and storage advancements are viewed as a key component to overcoming the fluctuation associated with soft power. The implementation of smart grid technologies will also aid in the growth of electric car use on Maui. Maui and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands have been cited as good locales for electric vehicles due to shorter travel distances. Check out the press release from Hitachi for more information on the forthcoming smart grid project.

This announcement comes on the heels of last month’s good news on a new Maui Wind Farm. Plans appear to be going forward for a new wind farm on the back side of Haleakala on Ulupalakua Ranch Land. This project will bring 15 turbines to an area between Makena and Kaupo. Community meetings in both South Maui and Upcountry generated mostly positive feedback on the projects. While some concerns were expressed about traffic during the construction of the wind farm, there appeared to have been a larger consensus that inconveniences during construction would be outweighed by the long term benefits of the project. We will continue to monitor alternative energy and other green building new on The Maui Real Estate Blog.

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