The Potential Health Benefits of Renewable Energy in Molokai, Hawaii: Achieving a Clean Energy Future

Achieving net zero emissions is a key strategy for the future, and as an island state, Hawaii has the unique opportunity to generate its energy from clean and renewable sources. The Ho'ahu community solar cooperative proposal, under Hawaiian Electric's community-based renewable energy (CBRE) program, would generate about 2.5 megawatts of solar energy with the addition of storage batteries, and would be located on 16 acres near the Pala'au power plant. These systems and tools contribute to creating a resilient energy network, based on diverse renewable energy sources and at different power generation scales. What if locally produced renewable energy could reduce the cost of electricity in Molokai and create a cleaner environment for future generations? When you think your electric bill is too high, it's best to switch to another electricity provider and find ways to get the cheapest electricity deal.

The company is excited about this opportunity to allow access to the benefits of renewable energy to a wider range of customers. The state of Hawaii has set a goal of using 100% renewable energy by the year 2045 throughout the state and, if all goes well, Molokai could be on track to achieve that goal. Hawaiian Electric is looking for a developer to build and maintain the largest renewable energy project and the first to offer the island's shared solar program. Hawaiian Electric is now making available to developers (subscriber organizations) the results of the Land Information Request (RFI) who are interested in participating in the next phase 2 of the community-based renewable energy initiative (CBRE).

Batteries that store excess renewable energy and are discharged when that energy is unavailable increase utility and improve the predictable availability of renewable sources. Renewable natural gas (RNG), also known as biogas, is a form of gaseous energy that is created from the decay of organic matter, such as biosolids from wastewater, food waste, or animal manure under anaerobic conditions or under conditions without oxygen. The network's new computer system will help minimize fuel consumption by automatically coordinating all electrical equipment on the island, including the large battery, diesel generators and new renewable energy sources. The founders of Pacific Biodiesel, Bob and Kelly King, grow sunflowers and other crops on their Maui farm, demonstrating a community model of sustainable agriculture, renewable fuels and food that is helping Hawaii achieve a clean energy future.

Planning for a Clean Energy Future

Planning for a clean energy future isn't as simple as disconnecting from fossil fuels and connecting to renewable energy like solar and wind. Hawaiian Electric recently released a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify new opportunities for renewable energy projects in Maui. The potential health benefits of using renewable energy sources in Molokai, Hawaii are numerous. Renewable energy can reduce electricity costs for residents while creating jobs that locals are already training for.

It can also create a cleaner environment for future generations while helping Hawaii reach its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. Additionally, batteries that store excess renewable energy can increase utility and improve the predictable availability of renewables. Finally, renewable natural gas can be used as an alternative form of gaseous energy created from organic matter.

Catherine Geml
Catherine Geml

Extreme bacon specialist. Proud food specialist. Freelance travel nerd. Lifelong web practitioner. Hipster-friendly food advocate. Freelance social media scholar.

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