POH Renewable Energy Initiative

POH Renewable Energy Initiative

 

Pu'u O Hoku Ranch finds itself at the end of the line, literally. The last electrical pole is situated behind the main lodge, transporting diesel-generated power over 25 miles from the MECO plant in Pala'au.

Transporting energy across island to a remote user is inefficient in various ways, lending the ranch to make use of its natural resources. Decent annual sun exposure, moderate but consistent wind speeds, and multiple biomass sources make the location viable for energy self-sufficiency. Why be reliant on imported oil from the mainland when there are multiple renewable energy sources to be tapped on the islands?

Pu'u O Hoku's Renewable Energy Program is unique in a holistic way. The planned integration of wind, solar, and biomass gasification form a system like no other in the islands. The network will be both grid-tied and stand-alone capable in case of grid failure. Energy storage systems ranging from batteries to hydro-pump storage are currently in the works on the ground. 10 kW of photovoltaics are installed, with 5 kW more and two wind turbines on the way.

There is much work to be done, but the vision holds strong. With such a distinctive system planned, Pu'u O Hoku hopes to become a model for sustainability and low impact living in an age governed by fossil fuels. The Ranch is excited and proud to finally get this project in the building stage and hopes that it can provide some inspiration to establishments around Hawai'i and even worldwide. 

Further updates will be provided as the project progresses. 

Comments

Hi Cora, Love to see these projects happening. I think you meant 10 megawatts not 10 kW. A typical single family home is 5-10 kW Who is developing the project? Are they funding it too? Are you going to sell power back to the utility MECO? I know of several Pumped Storage projects happening on Maui and glad to hear it's happening on Molokai. Mahalo

Hi there - Update from Galen, Jason and Rune on the energy use: "Is 10KW from gasifier, 15 kw net metering from solar, 20kw feed into tariff from wind. All combined energy production will be around 190-200 kWh per day."