Microgrid Project Supports Renewable Energy on Hawaii’s Parker Ranch

Solar cells will help contribute to a microgrid project being done by the Parker Ranch in Hawaii.

The largest cattle ranch in Hawaii is working on an electrical project with a microgrid that will help support renewable energy and grid resiliency on the operation.

The Parker Ranch on the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, has entered a partnership with Go Electric Inc. to design and build a 400-kW microgrid on-site. The project is slated to start later in 2018 and should be completed by the second quarter of next year.

The microgrid will help service the ranch’s cattle water pumps and other commercial initiatives near the microgrid. 

“The Go Electric microgrid underpins the three major strategies at Parker Ranch–Energy, Agriculture and Community Development,” says Dutch Kuyper, president and CEO of Parker Ranch. “Through energy resiliency we’ll enable a sustainable future for the ranch, the community, and the Big Island.”

Parker Ranch will also install a solar photovoltaic, also known as solar cells, at the site near Waimea. This will include battery energy storage and a back-up diesel generator.

“The Go Electric microgrid underpins the three major strategies at Parker Ranch–Energy, Agriculture and Community Development,” says Dutch Kuyper, president and CEO of Parker Ranch. “Through energy resiliency we’ll enable a sustainable future for the ranch, the community, and the Big Island.”

Having the renewable energy assets will ensures that the during a grid outage to supply grid services to Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO). This will similarly provide grid stability during peak demand or periods with grid frequency or voltage challenges for HELCO.

“This microgrid is a unique nexus of energy, agriculture, and water,” says Lisa Laughner, CEO of Go Electric. “We are delighted to be part of Parker Ranch’s resiliency vision while contributing to the broader grid resiliency on the Big Island.”

The Parker Ranch has been operating on the Big Island of Hawaii for more than 160 years. The ranch is in a charitable trust and is 130,000 acres in size. According to CattleFax data from 2016, Parker Ranch is the ninth largest cow-calf operation in the U.S.  

 

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