University of Hawai?i at Manoa

03/18/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/18/2019 15:23

VNR: 3D energy planning tool generates national buzz

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa


UH Manoa computer science student James Hutchison was the main developer.
This student created interactive 3D energy planning tool is generating national buzz.
The assistant secretary for the U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Electricity tweeted about HAVEN.

Link to video and sound (details below):

What: A University of Hawai'i at Mānoa student-designed and built interactive 3D projection-mapped model of O'ahu showing layers of data for the stateʻs plan to be 100-percent renewable by 2045 is creating a national buzz. It is called the Hawai'i Advanced Visualization Environmental Nexus (HAVEN).

Where: Laboratory for Advanced Visualization and Applications (LAVA) at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Who: HAVEN was developed by a team of UH Mānoa students, under the supervision of LAVA Director Jason Leigh.

  • James Hutchison-undergraduate, main developer

  • Nurit Kirshenbaum-PhD student, tangible computing advisor

  • Ryan Theriot-MS student, visualization

  • Kaila Foltz-undergraduate, graphic design (user interface and banner)

  • Kari Noe-MS student, graphic design (HAVEN logo)

  • Serena Kobayashi-undergraduate, physical structure

  • Tyson Seto-Mook-MS student, docent who did the demo in Washington D.C.

Why: HAVEN supports 3,000 pages of Hawai'i State Energy Office (HSEO)/Hawaiian Electric Industries data, employing visualization tools to clarify complex problems. HSEO says it is developing a suite of energy system visualization tools to help decision makers and stakeholders with the energy planning process.

How: HAVEN was built with a grant the HSEO received from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Academy for Creative Media UH System also contributed funding.

Other facts:

  • When it was demonstrated at the 2019 NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference in February, Bruce J. Walker, assistant secretary, Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy, tweeted: 'Checking out the 3D modeling capabilities at the Hawaii Visualization Energy Nexus booth at the @NASEO_Energy Conference. As we continue to provide technical assistance to Puerto Rico, tools like this can help determine the best types and locations of generation. #NASEOOutlook19'

  • HAVEN also generated interest from many other states and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.



12 shots: operation of the 3-D table

2 shots: Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Bruce Walker watching HAVEN demo in Washington, DC.

1 shot: Bruce Waker tweets in support of HAVEN

2 shots: operation of HAVEN


James Hutchison, UH Mānoa computer science undergraduate student (HAVEN main developer) :15

'Well, it's entirely done by students. I mean that's really the thing so it was done not just by me. So that's an important thing. It's a collaborative effort.'

Ryan Theriot (teri-OH), UH Mānoa computer science graduate student (used open-source coding for HAVEN visualization) :07

'It would make me feel really good that I would have a hand in the future of renewable energy and trying to get away from coal.'

Chris Yunker, HSEO Energy Systems and Planning branch manager (about the reaction at the 2019 NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference) :18

'A dozen or more states were interested in adopting the technology, as well as the Department of Energy had come by. Assistant Secretary of the Office of Electricity Bruce Walker had come by and he showed interest for the DOE to adopt the technology itself.'