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Clean Energy

First net-zero buildings open at UH Mānoa

Two buildings that will generate more energy than they consume are proud additions to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus. In November, the university held a grand opening for two 1,400-square-foot Flexible Response to Ongoing Growth (FROG) classrooms at the College of Education. Funded with part of a $4.5-million grant from the Office of Naval Research and managed by UH Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), these net-zero …

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America’s first wave-produced power goes online in Hawaiʻi

The Hawaiʻi Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), the United States’ first grid-connected test site of this kind, was completed by the U.S. Navy in mid-2015. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) is providing key research support to this national effort in the form of environmental monitoring, independent wave energy conversion device power performance and durability analysis and critical marine …

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Sustainability students graduate from energy fellowship program

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students Mark Ryan and Kiha Sai completed the Energy Fellowship program through the UH Office of Sustainability. The fellowship is a collaboration between the Office of Sustainability, Hawaiʻi Energy and the Kupu Hawaiʻi Rewarding Internships for Sustainable Employment (RISE) program. “Our partnership with Hawaiʻi Energy and Kupu RISE bolsters our operational capacity while enhancing the …

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NSF funds undergraduate DNA and biodiversity research

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has received a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through this award, undergraduates will use high-throughput DNA sequencing, phylogenetic methods and bioinformatics to study microbiomes and the identities and origins of Hawaiʻi’s endemic, native and introduced organisms. Mentorship will be provided by faculty from the UH Mānoa …

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Creating renewable gasoline

Creating gasoline and biodiesel from readily available microbial organisms may sound too good to be true, but that is exactly what researchers at the Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are doing. A new one-pot process is described in a recent publication by Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Shimin Kang and Researcher Jian Yu. “As we …

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Researcher’s work in bioplastics leads to $1.4 million contract

Jian Yu, a Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute researcher at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has signed an exclusive global research contract with Bio-On, an Italian intellectual property company, representing a $1.4 million investment. Yu’s research focuses on new technologies to produce bioplastics from inexpensive feedstocks such as wood chips, agricultural residues and domestic wastes. The bioplastics can be molded …

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UH extramural funding totals $425 million for FY 2015


The University of Hawaiʻi received a total of $425 million in sponsored funds to close fiscal year 2015 (FY2015). The total reflects an increase of 8.5 percent over the previous year’s tally of $392 million and marks the first increase in extramural award funding after three straight years of decline. “With the effects of sequestration, budget cuts and the realignment …

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First net zero energy buildings under construction at UH Mānoa

On June 15, 2015 contractors broke ground for the installation of two 1,500 square foot, net zero energy classrooms. These classrooms will be energy neutral, that is they will generate at least as much energy as they will use. “This multiyear effort characterizes the effect of usage and building design on energy demand. This is part of a larger research …

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New study models path for achieving Hawaiʻi’s renewable energy targets

Many wonder whether the state can reach the lofty goals set out by new laws requiring the University of Hawaiʻi to become net-zero by 2035 and for Hawaiʻi to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045. A new report from the Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa identifies various scenarios that would allow the …

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[VIDEO] Fast-Fill hydrogen fueling station enabling zero emission transportation

Hydrogen filling station

The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) has commissioned a “Fast-Fill” high-pressure hydrogen fueling station at the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i (MCBH), Kaneohe Bay. This state-of-the-art station was developed to support a fleet of General Motors Equinox Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) leased by the Office of Naval Research for use by Marine Corps and Navy personnel on O‘ahu. Operational since …

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