ARL/UH and HNEI to study electrical grids at three naval bases in Hawaii

$2.5M research effort will focus on renewable energy opportunities

University of Hawaiʻi
Talia Ogliore, (808) 956-4531
Public Information Officer, UH Manoa Vice Chancellor for Research
Posted: Sep 15, 2014

An aerial view of the USS Arizona and USS Missouri Memorials at Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor
An aerial view of the USS Arizona and USS Missouri Memorials at Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor

Contacts: Michael Vitale (808- 956-0431,, Executive Director, Applied Research Lab at University of Hawai’i

Leon Roose, (808- 956-2331,, Principal & Chief Technologist, GridSTART, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, SOEST

The Office of Naval Research has contracted with the Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawai‘i (ARL/UH) for a $2.5 million energy research project to be conducted by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute’s (HNEI) GridSTART (Grid System Technologies Advanced Research Team), an HNEI research team focused on the integration and analysis of energy technologies and power systems, including smart grid and micro grid applications.  The objective of this research is to develop a power grid modernization strategy and action plan to meet the future needs of the Navy in Hawaii, with a special focus on the reliability and power quality demands of electrical service to the shipyard.

As part of this task, a renewable energy integration action sub-plan will be developed to help the Navy meet its renewable energy goals in a manner that maintains electrical service reliability and stability, ensuring continuity of mission critical activities.  The Navy is the largest single electricity user in the Hawaiian islands.

“This research continues to build on the growing relationship between the ARL/UH, HNEI and the Navy to help the Navy improve its knowledge and understanding of its shore energy demands while leveraging the great opportunity in alternative energy,” said Retired Vice Adm. and ARL/UH Executive Director Michael Vitale.

The first phase of this effort will gather baseline information about current electrical systems at the three naval bases in Hawaii: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Kauai. 

Subsequent tasks will focus on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and will include developing plans to improve emergency power systems, demand-side management systems, and hydrogen fuel cell usage, as well as grid modernization with renewable energy systems. 

Photo Caption:  An aerial view of the USS Arizona and USS Missouri Memorials at Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Diamond Head, Honolulu and Waikiki are in the distance. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro/Released)


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The ARL/UH was established in 2008 as one of five Navy University Affiliated Research Centers. The ARL serves as a research center of excellence for helping the Navy and other government agencies connect defense research needs with UH researchers in the areas of astronomy, ocean science, remote sensing and electro-optics, and engineering support to communications, sensors, and information technology.  For more information see:


The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute is an organized research unit of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). The Institute performs research, conducts testing and evaluation, and manages public-private partnerships across a broad range of renewable and enabling technologies to reduce the State of Hawai‘i's dependence on fossil fuel.  For more information see: