Billionaire Larry Ellison has hired UC San Diego energy expert Byron Washom to help fulfill his vision of sustainable energy for the Hawaiian island of Lanai, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Washom became the school's first director of strategic energy initiatives in 2008 in an effort to turn the 1,200-acre campus into a "living laboratory" of sustainability.
On Lanai, he will work to maximize renewable energy efforts using a microgrid similar to one he manages at UC San Diego as well as produce more fresh water through desalination.
The university has granted him a 40% work reduction for nine months to pursue the Lanai project. About 10% of the power on the island comes from a solar facility.
Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corp., acquired nearly 98% of Lanai last June for more than $500 million.
Ranked as the third-richest person nationwide by Forbes magazine, with a fortune estimated at $43 billion, Ellison owns about two dozen properties in Malibu, multiple estates in Northern California, an Indian Wells tennis facility and several Lake Tahoe houses. His Rancho Mirage mansion sports a golf course.
Ellison has said he would like to build museums in homes he owns in Japan, Rhode Island and Malibu.
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