HONOLULU — Hawaii Governor David Ige joined military dignitaries, legislative leadership and project engineers at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Tuesday to celebrate the blessing of the Pacific Energy Assurance and Renewables Laboratory (PEARL). PEARL, which will be designed and built by engineering, architecture and construction firm Burns & McDonnell, is a state-of-the-art renewable energy microgrid developed in coordination with the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (HCATT), the Air Force Research Laboratory, National Guard Bureau, Hawaii Air National Guard and the Naval Facilities Command.
“The state of Hawaii is proud to pursue this innovative project,” Governor Ige says. “PEARL will advance the state’s clean energy vision of maximizing Hawaii’s energy self-sufficiency and security by developing and utilizing local energy resources in a balanced way.”
Microgrids will play a critical role in reducing Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuels, helping the transition to renewable energy and creating a multitude of new jobs in the state. Further, microgrids like PEARL can help mitigate grid disturbances and strengthen grid resiliency during natural disasters.
“The PEARL project is the first of six planned microgrids, which will not only provide energy assurance, resiliency and cybersecurity to the 154th Wing F-22 campus at JBPHH, but also serve as a technology and business development laboratory to complement the state’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045,” says David Molinaro, acting HCATT director.
Planning for the project began in 2016, with construction slated for completion in August of 2020. Once complete, PEARL’s technical capabilities include 1.5 megawatt (MW) of solar PV integration, 500kWh of battery energy storage and the ability to restore 1 MW of power instantaneously with less than a 10% voltage drop.
“Burns & McDonnell is proud to design and build this state-of-the-art microgrid, supporting some of our nation’s most critical military infrastructure and the great state of Hawaii,” says John Bothof, Pacific operations manager for Burns & McDonnell. “The PEARL project will open doors for others of its kind, and we look forward to deepening our roots in Hawaii and continuing to build upon our longstanding partnership with the Department of Defense.”
About Burns & McDonnell
Founded by two entrepreneurs in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies made up of 7,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and innovators with offices across the country and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned and is proud to be on Fortune’s 2019 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.