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Registration Deadline for County’s Electrical Energy Storage Seminar

June 2, 2010, 6:00 AM HST · Updated June 2, 6:04 AM
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Today (Wednesday, June 02, 2010) is the deadline to register for an electrical energy storage seminar presented in part by the County of Maui.  The event itself is a full day seminar that takes place two weeks from today on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at UH Maui College.

Castle & Cooke's La Ola photovoltaic solar farm is among the facilities in the state currently using a battery system. File Photo by Wendy Osher.

It is aimed at addressing benefits, challenges and case studies of storage technologies for renewable energy.  Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares said the seminar is an exciting step forward for the county in developing reliable alternative energy systems. “In Hawaii, we have an abundance of clean energy resources such as solar and wind power, and addressing the capacity for storing this variable energy is a critical component in harnessing these resources efficiently. This is an important opportunity for us to learn about the solutions currently available and those being developed.”

The Hawaii Energy Storage Seminar is sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories, the U.S. Department of Energy, the County of Maui, HECO, HELCO, MECO, and the University of Hawaii Maui College. Business owners, architects, engineers, developers, home owners, renewable energy contractors and non-profit and government entities interested in renewable energy resources are encouraged to attend.

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Space is limited and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.  Lunch is
available at the seminar for a nominal fee. For more information and to register, visit www.mauicounty.gov and click on the “Renewable Energy” tab on the lower right.

“Energy storage can play an important role in the electric grid, and this need will continue to increase as demand grows and renewable generation becomes more pervasive,” said Juan Torres, manager of the Energy Systems Analysis Group at Sandia.  “Hawaii is in a unique position to see some excellent benefits of storage because of its small, isolated grid and high renewables penetration goals,” said Torres.

Dr. Clyde Sakamoto, Chancellor of UH Maui College, which is providing the meeting facility, stated that “the ability to learn directly from experts and the opportunity to meet the people who run leading-edge energy storage for a federal national laboratory is an invaluable opportunity for our students, and definitely will be a rewarding experience for our faculty.  “I have always believed that Maui offers a location, environmental resources and community support for research and development that will advance the cause of renewable energy,” said Sakamoto.

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The storage seminar will also cover the many purposes of storage – from allowing a utility to shift power generated in non-peak hours to stabilizing power generated from intermittent renewable resources.  Discussions will also cover technologies such as flywheels, thermal storage, and compressed air storage, and a presentation on the battery system being used by Castle & Cooke at its La Ola photovoltaic solar farm.

On Thursday, June 17, 2010, Castle & Cooke will be hosting a tour of the La Ola solar farm; separate registration is required and transportation fees will apply. Also on Thursday, Sandia experts will be offering free one-on-one consultations on both Maui and Oahu to allow interested parties to get feedback on their particular issues.

For more information on the seminar, the solar tour and consultation sessions, visit www.mauicounty.gov (click on the Renewable Energy tab) or call (808) 270-7142.

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