The State of Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) is a government agency responsible for managing the public education system in the state of Hawaii. The DOE is the largest employer in the state, with over 22,000 employees and a budget of over $2 billion. The DOE operates 256 schools and serves over 180,000 students across the state.
In recent years, the DOE has made a commitment to decarbonisation and the use of renewable energy sources. The state of Hawaii has set a goal of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2045, and the DOE is playing a key role in achieving this goal.
One of the ways the DOE is working towards decarbonisation is through the use of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs). A corporate PPA is a contract between a renewable energy developer and a corporate entity, in this case the DOE, where the developer agrees to supply the corporate entity with a certain amount of renewable energy over a specified period of time. This allows the DOE to purchase renewable energy at a fixed price, which can help to reduce energy costs and provide a stable source of energy for the schools.
The DOE has already signed several corporate PPAs for renewable energy projects, including solar and wind projects. In 2019, the DOE signed a 20-year PPA for a 46 MW solar project on Oahu, which is expected to save the DOE $500,000 per year in energy costs. The DOE has also signed a PPA for a 20 MW wind project on Maui, which will provide energy to 11 schools on the island.
In addition to corporate PPAs, the DOE is also investing in corporate energy efficiency measures to reduce energy consumption and costs. The DOE has implemented energy efficiency measures in over 100 schools, including the installation of LED lighting, energy-efficient HVAC systems, and solar water heaters. These measures have helped to reduce energy consumption by over 20%, resulting in significant cost savings for the DOE.
The DOE is also exploring the use of renewable energy storage solutions, such as batteries, to help integrate renewable energy into the grid and provide a more stable source of energy for the schools. The DOE has already installed battery storage systems at several schools, including a 1 MW/4 MWh system at Waianae High School on Oahu.
The DOE is also working with the state of Hawaii to develop a statewide energy management system for public schools. The system, called the Hawaii Energy Management Program (HEMP), will provide real-time energy data and analytics to help schools identify areas where they can reduce energy consumption and costs. The HEMP program is expected to save the DOE up to $10 million per year in energy costs.
Overall, the State of Hawaii Department of Education is committed to decarbonisation and the use of renewable energy sources. Through the use of corporate PPAs, energy efficiency measures, renewable energy storage solutions, and the development of a statewide energy management system, the DOE is working to reduce energy consumption and costs, while also helping to achieve the state's goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045.