DoD, US Navy Focus on Clean Energy in Hawaii

HawaiiThe Energy Excelerator, a funding agency for renewable energy start-ups based out of Hawaii, has just been given $30 million by the US Navy to continue its work on alternative fuel initiatives.

The Energy Excelerator also receives funding from the Department of Energy (DOE), among others. The agency already has a host of success stories and hopes this new round of funding will facilitate bringing new technologies both to US companies and the entire Asia Pacific island nation market.

Gas prices in Hawaii are out of control, so the state has a vested interest in weaning itself off fossil fuel dependency. Gas prices can approach nearly four times the natural average and supply lines can be very long.

The US Navy has long been invested in the state, think Pearl Harbor, and the Department of Defense (DoD) has been paying special attention to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Hawaii.

Solar panels are now ubiquitous throughout DoD installations, and now Hawaii will have a ground-breaking military collaboration between the Army and General Motors on a fuel cell vehicle fleet, a full scale rainwater harvesting system at an Army barracks, an experimental renewable energy microgrid system, and a grid-connected wave power system that also serves as a shared test bed for private sector wave power development.

The Excelerator has a stellar reputation for developing energy-efficient technologies while generating revenue. In fact, over $18 million has been generated over the course of the past three years. Projects including an e-bike sharing system, micro-concentrating solar collectors, and smart storage for spikes in solar availability are just a few of the successful endeavors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the company of its algae biofuel and industrial carbon capture system.

Despite much opposition from Republican senators like John McCain and Randy Forbes, the Obama Administration has used its muscle to keep the programs up and running.

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