Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Environmental Management

First Advisor

Maggie Winslow

Abstract

Solar PV generation has become an integral part of the renewable energy industry. With state-level, renewable portfolio standards in place, solar power demand has substantially increased and become a competitive and economically viable energy solution throughout the world. Hawaii has one of the most aggressive renewable portfolio standards with a goal of 100 percent renewable generation by 2045. However, there are challenges that are preventing the growth of the solar PV market in Hawaii including equal accessibility to solar power and solar power overloading causing grid instability. With Hawaii’s high annual solar radiation, PV generation could play a significant role in reaching 100 percent renewable generation as long as a solution is put in place to alleviate overload to the grid while also expanding the adoption of solar. Community solar and energy storage techniques could potentially provide the support the solar industry needs to achieve this goal in Hawaii. This paper evaluates the success of two solar community energy storage projects, the Detroit Edison Community Energy Storage Project and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Anatolia Pilot Project, based on five criteria, the state’s renewable portfolio standard, available funding, level of solar incentives, site location, and amount of annual solar radiation. Based on this analysis, recommendations for the implementation of solar community energy storage projects in Hawaii are provided to determine if solar community energy storage techniques can facilitate growth in the solar PV market by overcoming the grid instability and accessibility challenges affecting utility companies throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

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