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.

We’re here to help Hawaii vote.

Our staff has spent months preparing for this election season. Now it’s your turn to vote on the leaders who will impact our community for years to come.

If you’ve relied on our daily analysis and reporting, Candidate Q&As, free events and online resources, please consider making a donation to your local nonprofit newsroom.

Every contribution, however big or small, powers our journalism.

About the Author