June 30, 2015

New study models path for achieving Hawaiʻi’s renewable energy targets

The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at UH Mānoa, in partnership with GE Energy Consulting, has completed an analysis identifying various scenarios that would allow the islands of O‘ahu and Maui to surpass Hawai‘i’s 2020 renewable energy targets while lowering electricity costs.

The study evaluated various mixes of renewable energy generation (primarily wind and solar), different island-interconnection strategies, and changes to utility operations to identify cost-effective pathways to meet the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) targets. Funding for the Hawai‘i RPS Study was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Hawai‘i via the Energy Systems Development Special Fund (aka, “barrel tax”).

Hawaiʻi Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) Study, Final Report, GE Energy Consulting for HNEI, May 2015

See the UH News Story and the News Release for more information.

Articles: Phys.org, Pacific Business News, Photonics Online

Azura wave energy device off of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. June 17, 2015

Wave energy device activated off Kāne‘ohe Bay

Northwest Energy Innovations (NWEI) has deployed its “Azura” wave energy conversion (WEC) device in waters off Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) on the island of O‘ahu. The device will be deployed for 12 months of grid-connected testing as part of a rigorous program to validate the technology.

The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) is working in conjunction with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Navy to provide an independent verification of device performance and to evaluate the environmental feasibility of wave energy generation. The data will be delivered to the DOE and the U.S. Navy for their use in ongoing efforts to validate wave energy technology and advance the marine renewable energy industry.

Read more about it in the NWEI press release, watch the video at KITV4 and Popular Science; read about in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (subscription required), the Pacific Business News, Hydroworld, and Maritime Executive.

June 5, 2015

Fast-Fill hydrogen fueling station enabling zero emission transportation

The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) has commissioned a “Fast-Fill” high-pressure hydrogen fueling station at the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i (MCBH), Kaneohe Bay. This state-of-the-art station was developed to support a fleet of General Motors Equinox Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) leased by the Office of Naval Research for use by Marine Corps and Navy personnel on O‘ahu. Operational since November 2014, this station was recently certified for unattended operation, allowing drivers to self-fill their cars just as they would do at any gasoline fueling station. Unattended operation will serve as a model for the installation of private stations throughout the state.

See the UH News story and the press release for more information.

Articles: NGT News, Green Fleet

September 17, 2014

HNEI to study electrical grids at three Hawaii naval bases

The Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaii (ARL/UH) has received a $2.5 million contract from the Office of Naval Research to address electrical grids at three naval bases in Hawaii.  ARL/UH has funded HNEI to help develop a modernization and action plan to meet the Navy's future needs in Hawaii.  The work will be conducted by HNEI's Grid System Technologies Advanced Research Team (GridSTART).  For more information, contact Leon Roose, GridSTART Principal and Chief Technologist.  For details, see the University of Hawaii news release.

July 21, 2014

Navy expands investment at wave energy test site

Work at the Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) located off Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kāneʻohe has received an infusion of $9 million from the U.S. Navy. The funds, from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), are directed to the Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawai‘i (ARL/UH), working with UH Mānoa’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), to support industry testing of wave energy conversion devices. The Kāneʻohe site will be the first wave energy test site in the United States connected to an active power grid. (July 21, 2014)

To find out more, please download the press release.

June 25, 2014

Hydrogen-powered Buses Coming to Big Island

Hawaii Island could be less than a year away from having some of the first hydrogen-powered buses in the state on its roadways. As part of a pilot project spearheaded by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, three shuttle buses will be converted to hydrogen power. Two will be provided to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, while the third goes to the Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency, also known as Hele-On.  (June 24, 2014.)

West Hawaii Today article

Pacific Business News article

Hawaii Tribune Herald article

June 4, 2014

HNEI Fuel Cell Research Featured on ThinkTech Hawaii

HNEI's fuel cell researcher Michael Angelo featured on ThinkTech Hawaii, The State of Energy, Wednesday May 14.

May 5, 2014

HNEI and Sierra Lobo Demonstrate Fuel Cells for Helium Recovery at NASA

Using proven fuel cell technology, HNEI and Sierra Lobo, Inc. have developed and demonstrated an efficient process to recover high-purity helium from NASA’s rocket engine testing sites.  Download the press release.

Asia-Pacific Technology and Education Partnership May 2, 2014

Asia-Pacific Partnership: Video Released


HNEI is supports the Asia-Pacific Technology and Education Partnership (APTEP), an educational, research and commerce development effort funded by the US Office of Naval Research.  APTEP's aim is to inspire collaboration and disseminate alternative energy technologies and research developments.  A video produced by ONR was released April 2014 to coincide with President Obama's visit to Asia. 

APTEP Video:

February 11, 2014

Recycling for biofuel: Unique UH, Industry Partnership


HNEI researcher Michael Cooney is collaborating with Pacific Biodiesel to find a way to recycle grease-trap water from restaurants.  The solution involves use of the UH-developed High-Rate Anaerobic Digestion (HRAD) system.  A test-scale system was built and installed at Pacific Biodiesel's Oahu facility using funds provided by a UH Manoa Sustainability grant.  The technology being developed by HNEI researchers could have a global impact on the wastewater industry.  Read more. 



For more information, contact Michael Cooney.