Renewable Energy in Hawaii Expands to Former Disposal Site
A 12-acre site in Hawaii that was once used as an industrial disposal site is now bring repurposed as a source for renewable energy. Forest City Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Company have reached an agreement for up to one megawatt of solar energy to be generated at the location, now called the Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park in Oahu.
More than 4,200 solar panels will be installed atop concrete at the former James Campbell Industrial Park. The site was a dumping ground until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the site sealed under a plastic liner and thick asphalt in 1986. The site was unusable until the James Campbell Company came up with the concept of a solar plant.
Renewable energy providers are essential in Hawaii, where other energy sources are expensive and hard to come by. The isolated island chain has increasingly been turning to renewable sources of energy like solar and wind to help fill the needs of its residents.
To further the expansion of renewable energy sources, the University of Hawaii has started a Natural Energy Institute. Recently, a researcher from the institute, Michael Cooney, led a sustainability research project regarding water, energy and soil. The project won $1 million to continue its research for two years.