California expert to oversee Lāna‘i energy, water projects

Byron Washom, director of Strategic Energy Initiatives at the University of California San Diego, will “lead a new initiative to transform the Hawaiian island of Lāna‘i into a model for sustainable energy.”

Lāna‘i is home to a 1.5-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility that provides about 10 percent of the island’s power needs. Washom will oversee the development of a  “microgrid” that will help the islands electric utility make full use of all renewable energy produced on Lāna‘i.

Washom also will help develop a desalination plant that will augment the island’s supply of fresh water.

Washom also oversees the entire portfolio of research activities on the microgrid at UC San Diego, which generates more than 90 percent of the campus’ electricity.

The renewable energy and desalination initiatives are part of Pūlama Lāna‘i’s and the Lāna‘i community’s comprehensive approach to managing and conserving energy, water and land resources and help to ensure a sustainable future.