Molokai’s Renewable Energy Future

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

The forecast for energy on Molokai is looking renewable, according to Maui Electric officials. Company officials talked story with residents last week in three sessions around the island about both the company’s and community’s visions for how Molokai can reach 100 percent renewable energy in the near future.

Molokai has a lot of planned and potential projects on the horizon. The 37-acre solar project with battery storage, recently approved to be operated by Molokai New Energy Partners (MNEP), will be located near the Pala’au Power Plant. Manager of Renewable Energy Projects Gregg Kresge said the permit process for the project is currently underway and MNEP — a branch of mainland-based renewable energy company Half Moon Ventures — will hold additional meetings with the community for updates on the project.…

Proposal for Ranch Purchase

Friday, April 13th, 2018

A company called Lamplighter Energy has proposed the purchase Molokai Ranch to grow and export hibiscus to South Korea. Lamplighter CEO Andre De Rosa said wood pellets from the hibiscus is a renewable substitute to burning coal, and his energy company has the investors and contract with an organization in Korea to sell the product.

Molokai Ranch, owned by Singapore-based land holder owner GL Limited, went up for sale last September at a price of $260 million, and its 55,575 acres represents one third of Molokai.

De Rosa sat down with a small handful of residents last month, filmed by Akaku, and shared his plans, which he says he has been doing on a one-on-one basis with the community.…

Choosing Molokai’s Energy Future

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Choosing Molokai’s Energy Future

Maui Electric has identified a four-way fork in the road to Molokai’s energy future. Last week, the utility presented several options to reach the goal of 100 percent renewable energy for the island in a series of island-wide community meetings.

A large-scale solar project with battery storage, proposed by Molokai New Energy Partners, a division of Half Moon Ventures (HMV), figures largely into those options. The project includes 37 acres of solar panels to be located next to Maui Electric’s Pala`au Power Plant. An agreement between HMV and Maui Electric was recently reached, and Maui Electric submitted the proposal to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for review last week.…

How to Reach Renewable Energy Goals

Monday, March 5th, 2018

Maui Electric News Release

Maui Electric Company will host community meetings to share possible options based on feedback collected from the Molokai community on how to achieve 100 percent renewable energy for the island. The meetings will start at 5 p.m. with light refreshments, followed by updates from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

Tuesday, March 6: Kilohana Community Center Wednesday, March 7: Maunaloa Community Center Thursday, March 8: Mitchell Pau`ole Center

“We’re working toward accelerating clean energy plans for Molokai, and this includes continuous dialogue with all of you – the island’s residents and businesses throughout this process,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric.…

International Energy Leaders Visit Molokai

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

International Energy Leaders Visit Molokai

A proposal for a large-scale solar project on Molokai is on the table and residents are questioning the project’s benefits and whether community ownership of the project down the road is viable or desirable. With the island’s energy grid on the brink of change, a group of community energy leaders from around the world visited Molokai last Monday to share their perspectives on renewable energy solutions with residents.

“We [want to] come away with a sense of hopefulness… that together we can make happen what we need to have happen that benefits our aina and our community,” said Emillia Noordhoek, co-director of Sust`aina ble Molokai, which hosted the day-long discussion at the Kulana `Oiwi Halau on Feb.…

Large-Scale Solar Moves Forward

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Large-Scale Solar Moves Forward


A large-scale solar and battery storage project on Molokai has moved one step closer to reality after an agreement was reached between Maui Electric and Molokai New Energy Partners, a division of Chicago-based renewable energy company Half Moon Ventures. The 2.7-megawatt project would supply 41 percent of the island’s electricity usage. It consists of 37 acres of solar panels on industrial land near Maui Electric’s Pala`au Power Plant and a three megawatt battery energy storage system. If all goes as planned, the project is anticipated to in service by the end of 2019, and would operate under a 22-year contract.…

Students Work to Reduce Energy Usage

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Molokai LIVE News Release

Last month, a group of Molokai Middle School students were trained by Maui Electric staff on the Smart Power for Schools Program. This exciting new program, started by Maui Electric in 2015, allows students to view energy usage in real time at Molokai Middle School and other public schools across the state. Students can look at the peak times that their school uses energy during the day and compare the energy usage with other schools. Using the Power Scope Meter, they are able to determine when power spikes occur to develop energy conservation practices.

The Molokai Middle School students who received this training are Divine Brown, Barbara Simon, Leah Lavoie-Vega, Kathleen Alvarez, Thalia Meyer, Reina Kahue-Cabanting, Owen Svetin, and Isaiah Hanchett-Lopez.…

Community Ownership of Renewable Energy

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

Sust `aina ble Molokai invites the Molokai community to join the Tentou Network for a day of transformative discussion on Molokai’s readiness for community ownership of renewable energy projects  on Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kulana `Oiwi Halau.

The Tentou network consists of nonprofit organizations from four continents and the Pacific Islands, working in close cooperation with our communities. The founding members of the network are the Samsø Energy Academy in Denmark; the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies in Japan; the Islands Institute in Maine, USA; the Coalition for Community Energy in Victoria, Australia; and Sust`aina ble Molokai in Hawaii, USA.…

Company Pitches 37-Acre Solar Project

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Company Pitches 37-Acre Solar Project

A utility-scale renewable energy project pitched to Molokai residents a couple weeks ago could help to stabilize a portion of their electric bills while significantly reducing the island’s reliance on fossil fuel. Additionally, a revised plan now includes the potential for a local nonprofit to purchase the plant after a few years.

Officials from a Chicago-based company that acquired a former solar power project on Molokai a couple years ago are saying their renewed plan would provide cleaner, cheaper electricity to more than a third of Molokai’s energy needs, including battery storage that would provide energy after sundown. Though the initial savings would be only a few pennies on kilowatt-hours, if oil prices increase in the next 22 years — the proposed contract’s length — the savings for residents could be substantial.…

Fridge Trade-In Program Underway

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Hawaii Energy News Release

Molokai’s Hui Up! program is now in full swing as families last week began trading in their older, energy-eating refrigerator units for new, low-cost ENERGY STAR®-certified models. Hawaii Energy supported the nonprofit organization Sust`aina ble Molokai in implementing the transformation and educational refrigerator exchange program, with generous help from Makoa Trucking Service, Servco Home and Appliance Distribution, and General Electric.

Dozens of families began dropping off their aging refrigerators at “Duke” Maliu Regional Park in Kaunakakai, and received brand new General Electric units which will help them significantly lower their electric utility bills. A total of 177 refrigerators will be delivered during this current trade-in opportunity.…