Molokai Dynamic Load Bank July 12, 2019

HNEI Installs Dynamic Load Bank on Moloka'i

The Grid System Technologies Advanced Research Team (GridSTART) of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), University of Hawaii, in collaboration with Maui Electric Company (MECO) and with funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), has proposed and installed a practical, inexpensive and effective solution to address the integration of very high levels of rooftop PV and the occasional excess of intermittent solar energy produced in aggregate by the PV systems on the Island of Moloka‘i.  In addition to serving as a means to efficiently balance total system generation and demand during periods of excess solar energy production relative to island power demand, the asset also serves as a grid stabilizing “safety valve” to rapidly absorb excess energy during unplanned system disruptions, such as a sudden loss of generation on the grid. This unique solution features a 750 kW resistive dynamic load bank connected to the island’s electrical grid.  The load bank is operated both autonomously using advanced controls according to predefined conditions and manually at MECO operator discretion from the utility control room.  The addition of this load bank on the grid has allowed MECO to release a hold (in place since 2015) on the interconnection queue for rooftop PV, allowing the addition of approximately 725 kW of new rooftop systems.  The island of Moloka‘i, with a daytime system demand that can dip as low as 3.3 MW, already has approximately 2.3 MW of rooftop PV in operation. This load bank provides a reliable means to prevent baseload diesel generation on Moloka‘i from going below its minimum reliable operating level (risking unit trip and island-wide blackout) due to excess rooftop PV energy production on the island.  GridSTART is continuing its work with MECO to develop and test the capabilities of the load bank to provide additional benefits such as frequency regulation and down reserves in coordination with a 2 MW battery previously installed and under test in further HNEI-MECO collaboration on Moloka‘i.

More information regarding this project:
HNEI Press Release:
UH News Press Release:

Korea Keynote & Workshop May 20, 2019

HNEI Specialist Delivers Keynote Address and Workshop in Korea

HNEI Specialist, Mark Glick, delivered the keynote address "Energy Policy of the State of Hawaii: Update on the World’s Leading Energy Transition Model" to the 6th International EV Expo / 4th International Energy Conference on May 9, 2019 in Jeju, South Korea and presented "Microgrid Law & Policy of Hawaii Strategies for Resilience and Cost Control" at the 2019 International Conference on Microgrid Law & Policy in Asia-Pacific Islands at Seoul National University School of Law on May 13, 2019.  The presentation slides for both speeches are available below.

"Energy Policy of the State of Hawaii: Update on the World’s Leading Energy Transition Model"
"Microgrid Law & Policy of Hawaii: Strategies for Resilience and Cost Control"

May 2, 2019

HNEI Research Featured in Batteries' Special Issue

Research supported by the Office of Naval Research and conducted by HNEI researchers, led by Matthieu Dubarry, is a feature paper invited by editorial office of Batteries in the Special Issue on Batteries and Supercapacitors Aging.  This research paper "Synthetic vs. Real Driving Cycles: A Comparison of Electric Vehicle Battery Degradation" is included in the journal's June 2018 issue and is available at

Automobile dependency and the inexorable proliferation of electric vehicles compels accurate predictions of cycle life across multiple usage conditions and for multiple lithium-ion battery systems.  Synthetic driving cycles have been essential in accumulating data on EV battery lifetimes.  However, since battery deterioration is path-dependent, the representability of synthetic cycles must be questioned.  Hence, this work compared three different synthetic driving cycles to real driving data in terms of mimicking actual EV battery degradation.

DOE RPS Technical Report April 18, 2019

HNEI Specialist Co-Authors DOE International RPS Technical Report

HNEI Specialist, Mark Glick, was a co-author with researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on a technical report requested by the Government of Vietnam to examine effective Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies globally that was published by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Technical Report: "International Best Practices forImplementing and Designing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Policies"

NELHA H2 Station April 17, 2019

First Public Zero Emission Hydrogen Bus System Nearing Completion

HNEI is pleased to report that the first publicly operated Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) system in Hawaii, comprised of a 29-passenger fuel cell electric bus and HNEI's hydrogen production and fueling station, is nearing completion at the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority (NELHA) campus on the Island of Hawaii.  The bus will be operated by the County of Hawaii Hele-On bus service.

More information regarding this system can be found in this press release:

UH System April 3, 2019

UH System’s Sustainability & Resilience Initiative

HNEI has long been an important part of the University of Hawaii System's focus on sustainable and resilience.  At the University of Hawaii's Board of Regents meeting, the renewal of this initiative featured a video featured HNEI researchers, Leon Roose and Patrick Cross.

UH Press Release:
Video Link:

GreenBiz Group June 30, 2018

HNEI Director Discusses Objectives

HNEI Director, Richard Rocheleau, sat down with GreenBiz to discuss HNEI's objectives and the institute's numerous collaborations.

GreenBiz Link:

Energies Cover May 8, 2018

HNEI Research Featured on Energies Cover

Research supported by the Office of Naval Research and conducted by HNEI researchers, led by Matthieu Dubarry, is featured on the Energies journal cover.  This research paper "Intrinsic Variability in the Degradation of a Batch of Commercial 18650 Lithium-Ion Cells" is included in the journal's May 2018 issue and is available at

Lithium-ion battery manufacturing is a multi-step process involving synthesis, mixing, casting, calendering, winding, soldering, packaging, wetting and sealing. Each step has a small intrinsic variability which contributes to initial cell-to-cell performance variations, but can also affect durability. This study quantified these impacts and determined that: (1) durability was not correlated with the initial cell-to-cell variations; and (2) cell-to-cell variations increased dramatically with cycling.

MKThink Interview May 8, 2018

HNEI's Work Regarding Net Zero Energy Buildings in Hawaii

Jim Maskrey, HNEI Assistant Specialist, spoke with our project partner, MKThink, about HNEI's research activities and work regarding net zero energy buildings in Hawai'i.  This project delivered the installation of three high efficiency, energy neutral research platforms in two schools in Hawai‘i.  The platforms are designed to maximize natural ventilation, minimize heat gain, utilize natural daylighting while providing a comforable interior environment.

Video Link:
Additional project information:

Maui Energy Conference 2018 March 2, 2018

HNEI at the Maui Energy Conference 2018

HNEI Director, Richard Rocheleau, and faculty member Jennifer Potter are participating and speaking at this year's Maui Energy Conference + Exhibition on March 14-15.  Ms. Potter will be moderating the "Carbon and Energy Efficiency: What Is The Connection?" panel, while Dr. Rocheleau will be speaking in the moderated discussion "Is Hawaii’s 100% RPS Worth The Cost?"

The theme for this year's Maui Energy Conference is Decarbonization: A Business Opportunity for Innovative Communities.  The conference, which is sponsored by HNEI, will focus on exploring "possibilities including: voluntary and mandatory options for reducing carbon; what a decarbonized grid looks like; the utility business model best suited to reach carbon reduction goals; curtailing carbon emissions in the transportation sector; the role of agriculture in a carbon reduction strategy; and more."