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.

Before you go . . .

Our evolution as a public service news organization over the past 10 years has prepared us for this moment in time, when what we do matters the most.

Whether you’ve valued our in-depth, fact-based journalism for 10 years or 10 days, now is the time we need you the most. Please consider supporting our newsroom by making a tax deductible gift.

About the Author