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

The Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaiʻi (ARL/UH) received a $2.5 million Office of Naval Research energy research contract to develop a power grid modernization strategy and action plan to meet the future needs of the Navy in Hawaiʻi, with a special focus on the reliability and power quality demands of electrical service to the shipyard. The research will be conducted by the Hawaiʻi Natural Energey Institute’s (HNEI) GridSTART (Grid System Technologies Advanced Research Team), a research team focused on the integration and analysis of energy technologies and power systems, including smart grid and micro grid applications.

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 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 Admiral 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 Hawaiʻi—Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Kauaʻi.

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.

A University of Hawaiʻi news release