Group of people in garden with photovoltaic panels behind them

Representatives from Kauaʻi Community College, Kauaʻi Economic Development Board and Dm Briggs Electric show off the new photovoltaic system supporting the college’s aquaponics program. (Photo courtesy Kauaʻi Community College)

Kauaʻi Community College recently unveiled its new off-grid aquaponics system at the college’s Aquaponics Program site. It consists of a photovoltaic system with a battery back-up system to the Aquaponics Program learning facility that makes the program grid-independent and fully capable of producing its own electricity to operate its entire system.

“Our students can now gain experience working with an aquaponics food production system which is energy independent,” said Eric Knutzen, director of Kauaʻi CC’s Hoʻouluwehi: The Sustainable Living Center of Kauaʻi. “This is a tremendous advancement for our Kauaʻi CC students to gain first-hand, hands-on learning experience with one of the lowest cost, highest efficiency food production methods which, when coupled with PV and batteries, exemplify how the protein and vegetable food needs of so many can be satisfied without the need for on-grid electrical connectivity.”

The initiative was supported, in part, by a $30,000 grant from the Kauaʻi Economic Development Board through funding provided by the Hawaiʻi Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism via the state’s Act 73 and its Hawaiʻi Economic Development Task Force.

The college also partnered with Dm Briggs Electric, a Kauaʻi company that installed the photovoltaic system.

“It has been an honor to work with Kauaʻi CC in its endeavor to provide these practical learning platforms,” said Dylan De Pue of Dm Briggs Electric. “It’s very exciting to be a part of helping in this effort to train Kauaʻi CC students in progressive aquaponics food production—now with renewable energy electrical supply.”

Learn more about the project as featured in The Garden Island or read the Kauaʻi CC news release.

Hoʻouluwehi: The Sustainable Living Center of Kauaʻi

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