- Energy storage company Blue Planet Energy focuses on energy independence and sustainability.
- It was founded in 2015 by Henk Rogers, who acquired the rights to Tetris in the 1980s.
- It is part of Hawaii's climate change initiatives and hopes to make renewable energy more affordable.
- This article is part of a series focusing on American cities that are building a brighter future called "Progressive cities."
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Blue Planet Energy has created an energy storage system to enhance energy independence and expand the use of renewable energy sources. The company has approximately 25 employees and a network of over 250 certified dealers who have installed thousands of its energy storage products.
"We want to free our energy system from carbon"Chris Johnson, the company's CEO told Insider. "However, the climate is changing. Storms are intensifying and shutting down power grids, so we need to prepare our power systems."
Climate change discussions typically focus on mitigation and adaptation, he said, and the company wants to make homes and businesses that use renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, more resilient.
As of 2013, Honolulu ranked first in solar energy per capita among the nation's 50 largest cities and third in the amount of existing solar PV, which generates electricity directly from sunlight, installed as of 2020, according tosympathyby the Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group.
"With renewable energy, you can't control when the sun shines or when the wind blows," Johnson said. “But we need stable, reliable power for our homes, for our businesses, for our critical infrastructure, so we're creating energy storage solutions that allow power to be consumed when you need it. And they're also durable, so even if the mesh falls, you can keep going."
See how Blue Planet Energy's renewable energy systems work and how the company's mission aligns with Honolulu's sustainability goals.
The name Blue Planet has influenced climate change policy in Hawaii
Blue Planet Energy was founded in 2015 byHank Rogers, who invented and acquired the rights to the video game Tetris in the 1980s. More recently, it has been committed to expanding clean energy and reducing and ultimately eliminating dependence on fossil fuels.
Rogers also founded theBlue Planet Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving climate change by leading the transition to 100% clean energy. The organization has influenced the adoption of clean energy policies in Hawaii and Honolulu, including a bill requiring state-owned utilities to generate 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.Hawaii Governor David Ige signed into lawin 2015. Hawaii was the first state to have such a law.
Blue Planet Energy's energy storage systems are an extension of Rogers' vision. While the company was founded in Honolulu and has a strong footprint in Hawaii, Johnson said it now has facilities in more than 30 states, Puerto Rico and several Caribbean islands and is expanding into Mexico, Central America and Canada.
"Hank, our founder, really thought if we could do this in Hawaii, we could take it as a model to other places," Johnson said. "It's essentially a sustainability learning lab."
Energy storage solutions provide homes and businesses with more resilient energy sources
In March 2021 Blue Planet Energylaunched a new product, the Blue Ion HI. The new energy storage system joins the company's Blue Ion LX.
"These are basically similar in approach and functionality, but designed for slightly different situations," Johnson said. "LX is intended for larger facilities, including commercial and industrial or community-ready infrastructure. Our HI offerings are for residential and small business."
OfBlue IonLXprovides on- or off-grid requirements for facilities such as warehouses, corporate headquarters and manufacturers. The battery stores excess solar energy or matches traditional power sources to avoid power outages, increasing the value of a company's renewable energy investment.
OfBlue Ion HIis a solution for homes and businesses. It captures energy from renewable and traditional sources, easily switches from grid electricity to battery power and provides power on demand. The products are also stackable and can be configured in different ways depending on the needs of the facilities.
Hank, Johnson said, "likes things to fit together well," so they made the batteries easy to stack and scale.
Blue Planet Energy customers primarily use their batteries to store excess solar energy, replacing grid or generator use, Johnson said. This is a valuable service as energy bills continue to rise and natural disasters affect power grids.
According to the US newspaper Hawaii, Hawaii has some of the highest energy costs in the countryUS Energy Information Administration. It is also vulnerable to typhoons, floods and tsunamis, causing loss of electricity. TheEnergy costs are also risingacross the country, where natural disasters also cut off electricity. For example,Texas experienced massive power outagesafter a major snowstorm and unusually cold temperatures in February.
"We need a resilient infrastructure to be able to recover quickly," Johnson said. "If we bring a lot of renewable energy to the market without balancing it with energy storage, the power grid can be unstable or not available when you need it. So we make sure the power grid absorbs a lot of renewable energy. It's always on."
Expansion plans aim to make renewable energy more affordable and accessible
Helping to create more resilient and affordable energy systems aligns with Honolulu's initiativesOffice of Climate Change, Sustainability and ResilienceJohnson said. Blue Planet Energy has been working with the agency to develop best practices for renewable energy and resiliency, and the company plans to continue that work with the new city administration led by Mayor Rick Blangiardi, who just took over in January.
To further address affordability, Johnson said the company recently launched a new financing product to make energy storage systems more affordable to commercial customers. No down payment required and offers instant solar savings and Blue Ion storage installation.
Blue Planet Energy's facility costs vary depending on a property's energy needs and can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars for large buildings with extensive energy needs, the company said. Installing energy storage costs about the same as installing solar power.
The average cost of installing solar panels in the U.S. varies by state, but averages between $17,760 and $23,828 after the federal solar tax credit, reducing costs by 26 percent, according toEnergieSage. Some state and local governments also offer rebates and tax credits for solar power systems.
Blue Planet Energy is in a period of "scaling and acceleration," Johnson said. The company plans to expand over the next ten years and aims to alleviate the problemseffects of climate change, which are expected to worsen.
"It's really a crunch time," he said. “How can we deliver the highest quality, most reliable and most secure solution at scale as quickly as possible? Bring it to the ground, to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure so we can stabilize the power grid and stabilize our energy infrastructure. climate."
Honolulu-based energy storage company Blue Planet Energy hopes to bring sustainable, renewable energy to Hawaii — and the world? ›
Honolulu-based energy storage company Blue Planet Energy hopes to bring sustainable, renewable power to Hawaii — and the world. Energy storage company Blue Planet Energy is focused on energy independence and sustainability. It was founded in 2015 by Henk Rogers, who acquired the rights to Tetris in the 1980s.What is Hawaii goal renewable energy? ›
Hawaii Quick Facts
Hawaii requires that 100% of its electricity be generated by renewable sources of energy by 2045.
The goal of the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative is to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045.What is Hawaii's energy goals? ›
State of Hawaii: Hawaii mandates 100% renewable energy by 2045. Hawaii became the first state in the nation to mandate 100% of its electricity generation to come from renewable resources by the year 2045.Is Honolulu leading the way for solar power? ›
Honolulu — the country's top solar generator — has 1,133 watts of solar capacity installed per person, which is equivalent to more than three solar panels for each person in the city. Neumann said that in 2014, the scale of Honolulu's current solar deployment was a “pipe dream” for US cities.What are the renewable energy sources in Honolulu Hawaii? ›
The islands of Hawai'i have abundant natural resources (wind, sun, flowing water, bioenergy, geothermal) that can be used to produce energy. Harnessing these resources while reducing the use of non-renewable sources (petroleum, coal, fossil-based natural gas) is critical to achieving our state's clean energy goals.How Hawaii became a leader in renewable energy generation? ›
In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to pass a law saying all electricity would come from renewable sources by 2045. Jeff Mikulina is an environmentalist in Hawaii who pushed for the clean energy standard. Initially, the idea was not well received.Is Hawaii chasing 100% renewable energy? ›
In 2008, the State of Hawaii committed to reducing the state's dependence on imported fossil fuels with the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. In 2014, it became the first US state to commit to 100% renewable energy generation, by the year 2045.What is the Hawaii 2030 plan? ›
The Healthy Hawai'i Vision 2030 represents a future where every person in Hawai'i has the opportunity to attain their full health potential. The framework of the HHSP recognizes that conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play are major contributing factors for health risks and outcomes.What is Hawaii doing to be more sustainable? ›
Hawaii has committed to reaching 100 per cent clean, renewable energy for electricity by 2045. The initiative also includes managing and protecting 30 per cent of our priority watersheds, because we know that fresh water starts in our watersheds. It means managing 30 per cent of our near ocean waters.
ENSURE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE, SUSTAINABLE AND MODERN ENERGY FOR ALL. Renewable energy solutions are becoming cheaper, more reliable and more efficient every day.What is the goal of renewable energy? ›
Renewables can be seen as a way to reduce carbon emissions, to promote industrial development, to decrease fossil fuel imports, and meet other policy goals. Each of these goals leads to a different set of programs and technologies.What is Hawaii's decarbonization goal? ›
State law mandates a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and for Hawaii to be net-zero by 2045.