Reaching 100 Percent Renewable Energy for Maui County

February 9, 2017

Maui Tomorrow and Maui Electric Company (MECO) hosted a community discussion, Reaching 100% Renewable Energy for Maui County, on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the University of Hawaiʽi Maui College (UHMC), to share the utility’s updated future energy plans that were proposed to the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in December. About 80 people attended the public event, filling UHMC’s Science Building Lecture Hall (Ike 144), eager to hear about the utility’s future plans regarding renewable energy.

After an introduction from Maui Tomorrow’s Executive Director, Albert Perez,  the event started with a presentation from the utility to provide an overview of their latest update to their Power Supply Improvement Plan, which aims to get the County of Maui to 100% renewable energy by the year 2040. The opening presentation was followed by a lengthy Q&A. Representatives from the utility answered questions from the audience and Maui Tomorrow’s Energy Committee. Representing Maui Tomorrow and facilitating questions alongside Perez was Doug McLeod, Maui Tomorrow’s Vice President and Energy Committee Chair.

Executive Director of Maui Tomorrow, Albert Perez, provides closing comments after the Q&A session. Also pictured, Doug McLeod, Maui Tomorrow’s Vice President and Energy Committee Chair.

MECO’s representatives included: Sharon Suzuki, President; Ellen Nashiwa, Manager of Customer Solutions and Planning; Mat McNeff, Manager of Power Supply; Mike Ito, Director of Planning; and Mahina Martin, Director of Government and Community Relations. They were joined by HECO’s General Manager of System Planning and the Project Lead for the Power Supply Improvement Plan, Todd Kanja.

Representatives from the utility answering questions during the Q&A session. (From left) Sharon Suzuki, Todd Kanja, Mat McNeff, Ellen Nashiwa, and Mike Ito.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For further coverage of the event, please see the link below from UHMC’s student newspaper, Ho’oulu:

Campus discussion on renewable energy reflected new collaboration


Reaching 100% Renewable Energy for Maui County: Part 1

Opening presentation and overview of the update to the Power Supply Improvement Plan. (Q&A  session starts at the 38-minute mark)


Reaching 100% Renewable Energy for Maui County: Part 2

(Remainder of the Q&A session)

Mahalo to Ho‘oulu (UH Maui College Student Newspaper) for covering the event!


Pre-Event Press Release:

Maui Electric Company and Maui Tomorrow will host a community discussion, Reaching 100% Renewable Energy for Maui County, on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the University of Hawaiʽi Maui College, Science Building Lecture Hall (Ike 144), to share the utility’s updated future energy plans that were proposed to the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in December. Light refreshments will be served at 5 p.m. followed by the community discussion from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The forum will feature an overview of Maui Electric’s updated energy plans, and provide an opportunityfor attendees to provide input and ask questions of Maui Electric and Maui Tomorrow representatives.

The recently updated plans filed with the PUC maps out a possible path for Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i to exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones – the most ambitious in the nation. It is a detailed plan charting the near-term actions that will lead to the use of renewable resources to meet 100 percent of Hawai‘i’s power generation needs by 2045.

“Our plans show that 100 percent renewable energy for Maui County can be accelerated and achieved,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric Company. “This is a huge undertaking that will require everyone – residents, government leaders, businesses, community and environmental groups – working together to refine and ensure a clean, reliable and affordable energy future for our islands.”

“For many years the discussion on Maui was about trying to get the utility to propose 100 percent renewable sources of electricity. Now it’s actually happened and we need people to give feedback on these plans,” said Doug McLeod, vice president of Maui Tomorrow.

The updated plan emphasizes work that is in progress or planned over the next five years on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i as well as on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island.

For Maui County in the near-term, using a mix of technologies, such as solar, wind, battery storage and biofuels could help Molokai achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, Lāna‘i by 2030 and Maui by 2045 or sooner.
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Media contacts: Maui Electric: Shayna Decker, 871-2339, shayna.decker@mauielectric.com Maui Tomorrow: 244-7570, info@mauitomorrow.org

 

Comments(2)

  1. Marc Drehsen says

    As a follow up to my previous comment, another option would be to build on Kahoolawa a large solar steam generator like the one in the Mojave Desert in California and other areas. It wouldn’t take too much to run the cables through the channel.

  2. Marc Drehsen says

    Since Kaho’olawa is a wasteland, why not fill it with wind generators? It may be able to provide all the energy Maui County needs. The benefits include:
    – Kahoolawa doesn’t get enough water to support a community, anyway.
    – It’s far enough away that it wouldn’t hinder the view nearly as much as installing the wind farms here on Maui.
    – If a generator falls off the support, the resulting oil leak contamination won’t really hurt anything.

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