Monday, November 22, 2010

Rooftops to OTEC, Hawaii Energy Is Moving

Lockheed Martin's rendition of an OTEC plant.
A friend was talking about the apparent tendency for everything to be going by faster and faster these days – a condition one author once called “The Quickening.” From where we sit, nothing seems to be happening faster than renewable energy developments in Hawaii.

It’s happening from small rooftop solar projects to the islands’ first ocean thermal energy conversion plant. Well, the latter is still in the far-off-but-getting-closer stage, but today’s news from Lockheed Martin is encouraging all the same.

The company announced that the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command has awarded Lockheed Martin $4.4 million more to advance the design for an OTEC plant off Oahu’s Kahe Point. That amount has been added to the $8.1 million contract issued last year.

Just a few days ago Hawaiian Electric Company announced that it is taking applications under its feed-in tariff program – a way for independent power producers to sell HECO energy using pre-established rates and standardized contract terms.

Conservation, Too

Thanksgiving Week is not too soon to start reminding power consumers to do their part in conserving electricity during the holiday season. Hawaii Energy, which administers the state’s Conservation and Efficiency Program, put up a couple press releases today. “Look for the ENERGY STAR label” is a message you’ll be hearing a lot in the weeks to come.

All of which goes to show that if you take a few days off to attend to matters other than energy, you’ll be playing catch-up soon enough.

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