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If the Interisland Wind Project brought 400 megawatts of wind power from Lanai and Molokai to Oahu as planned, this would bring the island's total wind power to 500 megawatts, meeting increasing energy needs

A new study has found that an additional 400 megawatts of wind power, coupled with existing wind farms and solar energy, could provide 25 percent of Oahu's projected electricity demand. 

The study, which is the Oahu Wind Integration Study, was conducted by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the Hawaiian Electric Company and General Electric Company. The study found that the energy needs of Oahu are increasing. Currently, low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) and coal are burned annually to meet energy needs on the island.

But if the Interisland Wind Project brought 400 megawatts of wind power from Lanai and Molokai to Oahu as planned, this would bring the island's total wind power to 500 megawatts. This, along with 100 megawatts of solar power found on Oahu, could eliminate the need to burn 2.8 million barrels of LSFO and 132,000 tons of coal annually.

"The findings of this study show it is feasible to integrate large-scale wind and solar projects on Oahu but also have value beyond Hawaii," said Dr. Rick Rocheleau, Director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute. "Both large mainland utilities and relatively small and/or isolated grids that wish to integrate significant amounts of renewable energy while maintaining reliability for their customers can learn from this study." 

The study also provided recommendations that should be combined with the additional wind power, which include increasing power reserves in order to help manage wind variability, providing cutting edge wind power forecasting, increasing ramp rates of Hawaiian Electric's thermal generating units, reducing minimum stable operating power of baseload generating units, providing severe weather monitoring and evaluating other resources that can contribute reserve. 

"To reach our renewable energy goals, we need to use all the resources available to us," said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president. "For Oahu, this includes the utility-scale solar, roof-top solar, waste-to-energy and on-island wind that we are pursuing. But on-island resources are not enough to meet Oahu's power needs." 

Alm added that the study shows the benefits of alternative energy technology, but presents financial and environmental challenges that must be overcome before it is implemented. However, he sees the study as being an "essential first step for the Interisland Wind Project."

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RE: YES!!!
By ArcliteHawaii on 3/18/2011 9:44:32 PM , Rating: 1
They would also cost 3-4x as much as the fuel sources currently on the island, driving up prices on everything even more, as if prices in Hawaii weren't expensive enough.

This is total BS. 85% of the electricity on Oahu is generated by diesel generators. There is no way wind is 3-4x more. It might cost a bit more, although many analyses peg it equal to or cheaper than coal and gas, the closest equivs to diesel (almost no one generates electricity from deisel, so no numbers are available). See: (See page 39)
Or a bit more:

With peak oil pretty much here, a barrel of oil will shortly be back up to $150 or more, we'll be paying through the nose again like we were in 2008. And don't believe me: peak oil isn't just for crackpots any more.
The US Military predicts peak oil in 2012 with shortfalls by 2015: (p. 29)
The German army says oil peaked in 2010:,1518...
Shell Oil:
Government of Kuwait:
Etc, etc.

RE: YES!!!
By sleepeeg3 on 3/20/2011 8:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
Common sense: If solar or wind were actually cheaper than oil and gas, don't you think the entire world would have switched by now?

Instead of relying on biased sources to do the math for you, do your own research. Simple cost comparison of the latest and greatest power plants from any technology will show you how truly expensive wind/solar really are. Most analysts leave out the efficiency or lifetime replacement costs in their analysis, because they are trying to push an agenda. With actual efficiencies of commercial wind/solar power projects between 20-30%, the costs go up dramatically.

RE: YES!!!
By Solandri on 3/20/2011 8:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
Normally I'm with you in bashing solar and wind's cost. But he is right in Hawaii's case. Due to having to import all their fuels and each island having an independent grid, Hawaii has considerably higher electricity costs than the rest of the country. $0.20/kWh for residential, and $0.30/kWh for commercial on Oahu, even higher for the other islands.

That's high enough that wind (typically $0.12-$0.20/kWh) actually makes sense, and solar ($0.40/kWh) is not an outlandish proposition. As I've outlined in my posts above, nuclear is logistically a poor fit for them. So the renewables (especially wind) actually make sense in Hawaii.

RE: YES!!!
By sleepeeg3 on 3/20/2011 8:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
PS. According to that abominable graph you first linked to, it looks like coal is about 3 cents/kwh and wind is 12 cents/kwh. That puts it at 4x as expensive - like I have been saying.

...and solar is off the chart.

RE: YES!!!
By Solandri on 3/20/2011 9:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote: (See page 39)

I should point out that the figures on page 39 include tax subsidies. For the unsubsidized cost, refer to page 38. You'll see that wind, with a subsidized cost of $99/MWh with tax credits, jumps up to $140/MWh without the subsidy.

It's not enough to change what you're saying for Hawaii's case (you guys have some ridiculously high electricity costs). But I don't want any of you Hawaiians investing in wind farms thinking it'll only cost $100/MWh, then have the farm go bankrupt when you find out the true cost is 40% higher.

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