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p v panels in parking lot
PV in the main parking area at Windward CC

Windward Community College joins Leeward CC in leading the way to energy sustainability across the University of Hawaiʻi System. On September 1, Windward CC became the second UH Community College campus to significantly reduce its carbon footprint by generating 70% of its energy through on-site photovoltaic (PV) systems. Through the combination of solar shade canopies, distributed energy storage and energy efficiency measures, Windward CC will reduce its use of fossil fuel consumption for energy by an estimated 70 percent.

The 3,125 PV modules installed on the Windward CC campus are capable of generating 1.469 megawatts of power annually, enough to power 177 homes every year, and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions equal to 3,554 barrels of oil a year.

“At Windward CC, we live our values,” said Windward CC Chancellor Ardis Eschenberg. “The addition of photovoltaic systems instantiates our institutional value of sustainability, as noted in the ʻōlelo noʻeau (Hawaiian saying), he aliʻi ka ʻāina, he kauwā ke kanaka (the land is the chief, man is its servant). Our energy initiatives help us to serve the earth better as we serve our students.”

Under a partnership between UH, Johnson Controls and Hawaiian Electric Industries subsidiary Pacific Current, three other UH campuses—UH Maui College, Honolulu CC and Kapiʻolani CC—will soon reduce their fossil fuel consumption by up to 98 percent. UH and the Hawaiʻi Legislature established a collective goal for the university system to be “net-zero” by January 1, 2035, meaning the system would produce as much renewable energy as it consumes across its 10 campuses.

—By Bonnie Beatson

p v panels in parking lot
PV panels in the Hale Pālanakila parking lot
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