Hawaii Facilitates Businesses to Pilot New Energy Storage Technologies

Written by on February 25, 2014 in CSR, Green, North America, Tech - No comments

Windmills and Sailboats on the OceanThe State of Hawaii has created an innovative $100 million outdoor demonstration site for emerging technologies that includes ocean energy, solar energy, algae biofuels and sea-based food technologies. The facility, the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology (HOST) Park, is inviting companies to pilot their pre-commercial technologies at the site.

The HOST site is managed by the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii Authority (NELHA), a strategic partnership between the State and County of Hawaii, and Hawaii Electric Light Company. It is designed to drive innovation and economic growth for the region. HOST is a unique model of sustainable development that allows companies to run their facilities on solar, employ cold deep seawater to cool buildings, and hold meetings at the LEED-Platinum Gateway building.

HOST is working towards the development of a micro-grid for the campus, which will become a test bed for energy storage technologies. The infrastructure has been created to enable companies to do ‘real world’ grid-connected standardized testing and validation of energy storage devices. The site intends to offer low-cost testing sites for up to 30 KW of power, power sensors and real-time monitoring of energy storage devices at no additional cost.

Jay Ignacio, President of Hawaii Electric Light, said that a huge opportunity exists in the field of energy storage to provide clean energy, improve reliability and eventually bring down the costs of energy for the consumers. Gregory Barbour, Executive Director of NELHA, said that while the costs of clean energy generation have reduced significantly over the years, but lower cost energy storage is considered to be the ‘missing link’. At the same time, it is one of the most difficult elements in the design and function of a clean energy micro-grid.

The global market for energy storage systems for wind and solar power is estimated to grow from less than $150 million in 2013 to $10.3 billion by 2023 with a projected 21.8 gigawatts of capacity. The U.S. Navy recently invested $30 million in another innovative program in Hawaii, the Clean Energy Accelerator. This program offers seed funding of $30,000 to $100,000 to entrepreneurs working on projects related to renewable energy technologies, including transportation.

Source: Sustainable Business

Image Credit: Flick via CGP Grey

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