Energy

Ikehu Molokai Meetings

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Ikehu Molokai News Release

The Ikehu Molokai planning team is excited to be returning to Molokai and hope that you can attend an Ikehu Molokai renewable energy project community meeting. Community meetings are scheduled for the week of May 24.  The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, May 23, 3 to 4 p.m. Manae Goods & Grindz (at the picnic table), informal discussion Tuesday, May 26, 6 to 8 p.m. Kilohana Community Center Wednesday, May 27, 6 to 8 p.m. Maunaloa Community Center Thursday, May 28, 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., Kalanianaole Hall Friday, May 29, 11 a.m.…

Study Alternatives for New Electric Utility Model

Friday, May 15th, 2015

County of Maui News Release

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced today it has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) to study the options available for a new electric utility model.

The $30,000 analysis is in response to the County’s concerns about the looming NextEra/Hawaiian Electric Industries merger before the Public Utilities Commission, and how it may affect area residents and businesses. The study will look at alternative forms of ownership and the alternative utility business models for Maui County’s electric utility company.

“We must look at our options, but to do that and have a constructive conversation about the matter we need more information,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa.…

Renewable Energy Project Update

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Ikehu Molokai News Release

Aloha to the Molokai community!  The Ikehu Molokai project is intended to convert Molokai to renewable energy, while lowering costs and stabilizing the electric grid.  We presented the project to many community groups last year and were pleased that so many Molokai people supported it. Our vision for the project has always tried to reflect the sentiments and values embraced and expressed by the residents for a healthy, sustainable, and energy independent island.

Over the past few months, the Ikehu Molokai team has been working on the design, engineering, and financing of the Ikehu Molokai project. Our recent progress includes the following highlights:

The costs are coming in better than expected, meaning more rate relief for Molokai residents and businesses.…

Tips for Cutting Electric Costs

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

For electric ratepayers looking to cut down on utility costs, options abound. Outdated air conditioning models can be upgraded for rebates. Extra refrigerators and old freezers can be sent in and recycled for cash. For Molokai residents, however, these and other options don’t always apply, explained Hawaii Energy’s Helen Wai at a workshop on Molokai last week.

“On Molokai you need two fridges and a freezer,” said Wai, Community Outreach Specialist for Hawaii Energy. “You hunt, you fish, the barge comes once a week, you go to Costco once a month. … It can be an insult for someone to say, get rid of your freezer.…

Support for Independent Electricity

Friday, April 17th, 2015

IAM News Release

I Aloha Molokai (IAM) applauds and heartily supports Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa’s decision to explore the creation of an independent electric utility for the islands of Maui County.

As we understand it, the Mayor’s proposal would involve purchasing MECO and creating either public utilities or co-ops similar to KIUC on Kauai. IAM would be happy to assist with this effort in any way we can.

IAM has followed the melodramatic negotiations between the HECO companies and Florida-based energy giant NextEra with increasing concern. We share the Mayor’s skepticism as to just exactly how this buy-out would benefit Hawaii ratepayers.…

Molokai Weighs In On NextEra Merger

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Representatives of NextEra, the Florida-based energy company proposing a merger with Hawaiian Electric, visited Molokai last week with plans to hold an open house to meet residents and answer questions. Concerned community members, however, had other plans.

Standing in a circle amid NextEra’s large, colorful posters and blue-shirted staff, local attendees requested a meeting format in which all their answers could be answered at once and heard by all.

“We want to know what is going on, as a group – that’s Molokai style,” said local activist Walter Ritte.

NextEra officials, joined by Maui Electric representatives, obliged.  With no seating planned for the open house format, everyone stood for the next three hours and discussed the merger and its implications for Hawaii’s energy future.…

Solar Applications in Limbo

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Solar Applications in Limbo

Sixty-five applications for rooftop solar on Molokai currently remain in limbo at the hands of Maui Electric Company (MECO), according to company Communications Director Kau`i Awai-Dickson.

Most rooftop solar panels in the state are installed under a program called Net Energy Metering (NEM), which pays customers the retail electric rate for excess energy generated from their panels.

At 51 percent, Molokai has the highest percentage in Hawaii of rooftop solar compared to the island’s peak demand.

“Hawaii leads the nation as far as rooftop [solar], and Molokai leads the state,” said Mat McNeff, MECO manager of engineering, at a meeting on Molokai last month.…

NextEra Energy Open House

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric News Release

The public is invited to provide input, learn more about NextEra and how the proposed merger with Hawaiian Electric Industries will advance a more affordable clean energy future for Hawaii. The companies will be hosting a series of 13 open house informational meetings across Hawaii to introduce residents to NextEra Energy and the benefits of the companies’ pending merger as well as to provide members of the public with the opportunity to provide input directly to company officials.

On Molokai, the open house will take place on April 9 at Kaunakakai School Cafeteria from 5 to 8 p.m.…

Bright Ideas for Saving Energy

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Maya Lima and Gaby Miguel, Kilohana sixth graders

Did you know that you can save a lot of energy and money by simply flicking off a light?   On Feb. 18, Kilohana School held an Energy Expo for their school community.   At the expo, Kilohana’s fifth and sixth graders gave presentations on how to save energy and money at home.  Parents and students walked from station to station to learn about energy conservation.

One of the student presenters, Gabrielle Miguel told audience members, “One cool way to save energy is to wash your clothes with cold water and buy Energy Star appliances.”  According to Miguel, washing clothes in cold water can save a family more than $63 a year.…

Proposed Solar Program Changes

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Proposed Solar Program Changes

Molokai has the highest percentage of renewable energy compared to total electric usage of any island at 51 percent, according to Maui Electric Company (MECO). With that high percentage, however, comes challenges for the island’s small electric grid – as well as unfair prices for customers without solar, claims MECO. The company is proposing changes that would temporarily halt the installation of rooftop solar on Molokai – and many customers and local solar companies aren’t happy about it.

In a program called Net Metering Program (NEM), customers with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are paid by the utility company for excess energy the panels generate at retail rate.…