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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 3/19/2011 7:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
You could do it with a single reactor, but it'd be more expensive since you can't spread the cost of the plant's support infrastructure over 2+ reactors.
Well one big issue is that reactors are taken offline for refueling and maintenance. The Fukushima reactors 4, 5, & 6 had been down for many months undergoing refueling and maintenance. So you could possibly do it with 2 500MW reactors (accounting for future growth), but most nuclear reactors are 800-1000MW, so these would have to be specially designed, possibly driving up cost. Also, when 1 was offline, you'd have to make up half a gigawatt with something else. In addition you'd need supplemental power sources.

You also have an evacuation problem in the event of an emergency. Oahu, where most of the people live, is only about 30 miles across. I don't think there are high-capacity power lines between the islands, so a nuclear plant would have to be put on Oahu.
You'd never get anyone to agree to a nuke plant on Oahu. They are already talking about running undersea cables for the Moloka'i and Lana'i wind farms; they'd do the same for a nuke plant. The poster mentioned uninhabited Kaho'olawe, the southwestern tip of which is already 30 miles from the Kihei on Maui, the closest settlement. Even better is Ni'ihau off of Kaua'i, but it's in private hands.

But all of this is pie in the sky. There will never be a nuke plant in Hawaii. Cost, logistics, and politics are all against it.

RE: YES!!!
By Smartless on 3/20/2011 8:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more. Nuclear power plants will NEVER end up in Hawaii but it's a nice relatively compact source. As for having too much power, the full gamut of the plan is to use the excess energy to power Desalinization plants and manufacture water as well as maybe an export business for sea salt. Desal plants take a lot of power hence we don't have a whole lot of them and there are clean water shortages on all islands except Kauai and the Big Island. But of course, we would still need miles of dumb cables. Just pie-in-the-sky thinking. Sorry didn't mean to continue on this post but its nice to have this kind of discussion without somebody saying "Keep the country, country" all the time.

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