Maui Ocean Center Wind Turbine Project
First of Its Kind on Island

On August 29, 2008, Maui Ocean Center completed its installation of the Architectural Wind system becoming the first business on the island of Maui to take this innovative, green step in producing renewable energy for its own consumption. In partnership with Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (MECO) and AeroVironment, Inc. (AV), the Hawaiian Aquarium installed AV's Architectural Wind generation system on its northern wall, a visual commitment to contending the ever-rising costs of energy. The bank of six wind turbines, eight and a half feet tall with a maximum production of 1000 watts each, will be powered by the strong Ma`alaea winds to create clean, renewable energy. This is a prototype project for Maui and one of only nine of its type in the United States.

The Maui Ocean Center Wind Turbine Project promotes the beneficial uses of Hawaii's natural resources while supporting state, county, and community plans and desires to find and use renewable energy. The noise level is less than 50 DB per bank of six turbines, produces no effects on air or water quality, and is canopied for avian protection. The Wind Turbine Project will effectively reduce Maui Ocean Center's electric consumption and demand on MECO while prototyping this alternative energy system for future use by other Maui businesses. The aquarium will also provide the public with educational outreach regarding wind energy generation with an information kiosk. Visitors may learn about alternative energy and AV's Architectural Wind system from an informational touch-screen monitor on the property. Weather and energy generation statistics produced by the Wind Turbine Project will be monitored and observed.

Kate Zolezzi, General Manager of Maui Ocean Center, is appreciative of the partnership that facilitated the Wind Turbine Project. "Maui Ocean Center has been actively looking for a renewable energy project for the last several years. The technology that AeroVironment offers is a perfect fit for our consistently windy conditions in Ma`alaea. We are excited to have the opportunity to prototype this technology on Maui and wish to thank our partners MECO and AeroVironment along with the County of Maui for their support."

For its ground-breaking step towards revolutionizing on-site renewable energy, MECO awarded the Maui Ocean Center with its Renewable Energy Project of the Year Award on September 2, 2008.

Architectural Wind

Architectural Wind is an alternative energy solution engineered by AeroVironment, Inc. This small, modular wind turbine system is designed for installation and energy production in urban and suburban environments. A unique and highly effective technology, Architectural Wind can be integrated into a building's design with no roof penetrations and be expanded to whatever sizes a customer would like. The turbines harness localized wind acceleration along the parapet area, generating electrical power that may be for immediate use or battery pack storage to be used in the event of power outages.

AeroVironment, Inc.

AeroVironment, Inc. was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Monrovia, California. AV engages in the engineering and support of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and efficient energy systems (EES) for various commercial industries and governmental agencies. Each business provides a solution that addresses the increasing global needs of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and energy efficiency for the economic and environmental values. AV's history in the wind industry includes participation through technology department, system design and testing, site evaluation and selection, and wind farm ownership.

The mission of Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii's marine life. This state-of-the-art aquarium was named Hawaii's top attraction by the Zagat Survey US Family Travel Guide. Open daily from 9 to 5, and from 9 to 6 in July and August. For more information please contact the Maui Ocean Center: 192 Ma'alaea Road; Ma'alaea, HI 96793; telephone (808) 270-7000, facsimile (808) 270-7070, email info@mauioceancenter.com or visit www.mauioceancenter.com

< < Back to News & Calendar