Support Clean Energy for Hawaii


Target: Paul Hommert, President and Director of Sandia National Laboratories

Goal: Applaud new project bringing clean hydrogen power to the Port of Honolulu

An up-and-coming clean energy initiative is aiming to lower carbon emissions and reduce energy consumption in the Port of Honolulu in Hawaii. Specially designed hydrogen fuel cells will help keep refrigerated shipping containers cool during transport throughout the islands, according to a recent report in National Geographic. Eventually, barges will be switching to plugging into fuel cells instead of relying on diesel-burning generators for power.

The initiative is one of the first to employ hydrogen fuel cells in a maritime environment, says Sandia project manager Joe Pratt. Despite being sites of major water and air pollution, ports throughout the U.S. have seen little regulation. This Port of Hawaii project marks a promising step towards greener practices for ports nation-wide.

The project’s success could mean expansion of the technology beyond just powering barges. The cells show promising versatility, having the potential to “green” other shipping activities like loading and unloading operations, equipment used on docks, and electrical systems used by ships at sea. In terms of pricing, hydrogen also shows potential to be cost-competitive with traditional fuels, according to Sandia’s basic fuel cost analyses.

For a state with major energy challenges of its own, this initiative takes on special importance. As an island archipelago lacking fossil fuels, Hawaii must import practically all of its energy. Residential energy consumption is nearly three times the national average, according to reports by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This project should put the state of Hawaii in closer reach of its goal of producing seventy percent of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2030.

By signing the petition below, you can applaud this timely, innovative move toward clean energy in the state of Hawaii.


Dear Mr. Hommert,

I am writing to congratulate you on your new clean energy initiative in the Port of Honolulu in Hawaii. Your innovative use of fuel cells and hydrogen to power refrigerated shipping containers shows real potential to lower carbon emissions and reduce energy consumption. As one of the first projects to employ hydrogen fuel cells in a maritime environment, you demonstrate key leadership that will hopefully spur a move toward greener technology among ports throughout the United States.

In a state with serious energy challenges of its own, you have engineered a promisingly cost-competitive solution, with potential to be expanded into other port activities. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, and thank you for your efforts to sustain these beautiful islands. You provide us the hope that they may be enjoyed by generations to come.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: billsoPHOTO via Wikimedia Commons

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