The University of Hawaii (UH) has announced that its Maui College campus will soon generate 100% of its energy from on-site solar photovoltaic systems coupled with battery storage.
The project is part of a partnership with Johnson Controls and Pacific Current that will also allow four UH community college campuses on Oahu to significantly reduce their fossil fuel consumption.
UH Maui College’s new PV-plus-storage system will be capable of eliminating the campus’ fossil fuel-based energy use when it is operational in 2019. On Oahu – through a combination of solar shade canopies, distributed energy storage and energy efficiency measures – Leeward Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapi’olani Community College and Windward Community College will reduce their use of fossil fuel for energy by 98%, 97%, 74% and 70%, respectively.
In 2015, Hawaii announced a commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2045. Concurrently, UH and the Hawaii legislature established a collective goal for the university system to be net-zero by Jan. 1, 2035, meaning the system would produce as much renewable energy as it consumes across its campuses.
Of the 10 campuses, UH Maui College is on target to be the first to supply 100% of its energy needs through renewable energy.
The partnership between UH, Johnson Controls and Pacific Current is the second phase of a multiyear energy efficiency and renewable energy project. In phase one, energy efficiency measures were implemented at UH Maui College and the Oahu community college campuses under energy performance contracts awarded to Johnson Controls in 2010. Phase two includes additional energy efficiency upgrades and the installation of on-site solar PV coupled with battery storage, allowing the five campuses to use the renewable generated energy as needed. The PV-plus-storage systems will be developed by Johnson Controls and owned by Hawaii-based Pacific Current. The energy efficiency upgrades will also reduce the deferred maintenance backlog at these campuses by approximately $20 million.
“Hawaii’s leaders set the national example of sustainability and renewable energy standards with the net-zero mandate by 2035 for UH, and we’re proud to partner with the university to help it reach that commitment and aim for UH Maui College to become the first campus in the U.S. to generate and store 100 percent renewable energy on-site, 16 years ahead of schedule,” says Rod Rushing, president of building solutions for North America at Johnson Controls.
Energy and infrastructure improvements at the five UH campuses involved in the project are scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2019.