A longtime barrier to adding more rooftop solar power to Molokai’s energy grid has been skirted with the recent installation of a load bank that absorbs excess energy that could otherwise disrupt the power supply to homeowners and businesses.

The technology, a product of a collaboration between the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii Manoa and Maui Electric Co., will boost stability and reduce outages at a cost that’s cheaper than battery storage. It’s expected to allow the utility to manage an additional 725 kilowatts of energy.

The load bank complements a two-megawatt battery energy storage system installed at the utility’s Palaau power plant in 2016.

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