Cameron Center getting renewable energy upgrades

The J. Walter Cameron Center is installing a 148 kilowatt solar PV system plus 244 kilowatt-hours of energy storage from EnSync Energy Systems. -- CESAR GAXIOLA photo

Construction is underway for a renewable energy improvement project at the J. Walter Cameron Center that will move the nonprofit incubator closer to its goal of becoming 100 percent renewable energy.

The JWCC is installing a 148 kilowatt solar PV system plus 244 kilowatt-hours of energy storage from EnSync Energy Systems. The center has also signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with EnSync. The project has the capability to export power to the grid in the future.

The installation will also include technology that assesses external variables such as weather forecasting, served load requirements and market price signals to model energy pricing in real time.

In addition to the PV and energy storage system installation, the JWCC has undertaken numerous energy improvements including conducting an investment grade lighting audit, installing LED lights in the facility, parking lot and upgrading facility space to be more energy efficient.

In past years, the JWCC was using approximately 800,000 kWh of electricity. By 2017, that number was reduced to 560,000 kWh per year. By the end of 2018, the goal is to reduce energy usage by an additional 50,000 kWh, which would mean the center would be running off of 75 percent renewable sources.

“Our goal has been to address the functional needs of our site-and-serve mission to improve Maui and support the nonprofit organizations that call the JWCC home,” said center Executive Director Cesar Gaxiola. “The money we will save by going green will allow us to continually improve our facilities and offer low-cost services to Maui’s nonprofits. It’s a win for the planet as well as a win for the people.”

JWCC provides office space across six buildings to 17 nonprofit agencies and community service organizations that provide health and human services to more than 30,000 Maui community clients annually.

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