Rising tides, more frequent fires, and extreme rainfall. Those are some of the predictions University of Hawaii scientists have as climate change worsens.
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In late 2010 and early 2011, heavy rains caused a Leeward reservoir to overflow above Oahu’s only municipal landfill, Waimanalo Gulch.
Hawaiian Electric’s plans to build a new switchyard and make equipment modifications to two of the four retiring oil-firing generating units at the Kahului Power Plant, were recently approved by the Public Utilities Commission. Itʻs part of the companyʻs transition to using more renewable energy and cutting carbon emissions to power Maui.
Hawaiʻi Gas has made organizational changes to better focus on its clean energy goals, with four leaders promoted to implement the company’s strategy to integrate sustainability into its core business operations.
Back in the summer of 2018, Wendy Stovall stood and stared into the heart of an inferno. Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano had been continuously erupting in one form or another since 1983. But from May to August, the volcano produced its magnum opus, unleashing 320,000 Olympic-size swimming pools’ worth of molten rock from its eastern flank.
Rising sea levels paired with recent storm surges have been causing faster than usual erosion on Hawaii’s beaches and shorelines. “The coastal issues that are related to climate change are sort of the canary in the coal mine,” coastal hazards specialist Tara Owens told This Week co-anchor Martha Raddatz, who reported from Hawaii as part of ABC News’ ‘Climate Crisis: Saving Tomorrow’ series.
For Hawaii to finally knock coal power off its grid, it’s going to need a bigger battery.
And now that’s happening. Developer Plus Power held a ground blessing last week for Kapolei Energy Storage (KES), which will be the biggest battery in Hawaii.
When coal plants on the mainland U.S. began to shut down in droves, natural-gas plants were ready to take their place, ramping up as needed to keep the lights on. In Hawaii, that’s not an option — both because of the state’s commitment to having a carbon-free grid by 2045 and because delivering natural gas to the islands is prohibitively expensive.
I’ve reported on a solar-powered ship crossing the globe and a battery that beat a natural gas plant in the city of Oxnard, Calif. — those stories involved short drives from my home in Los Angeles. But there’s plenty of innovation happening beyond the blue skies and golden sunshine in my backyard.
Property owners selling homes, hotels, condos and businesses along Hawaii’s coastlines must disclose whether the properties are susceptible to damage from sea level rise under legislation that’s set to take effect next May.