Energy

Downed Pole Caused Power Outage, Road Closure

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Downed Pole Caused Power Outage, Road Closure

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Electricity was out across the island last Saturday morning after a utility pole fell across Kalae Highway in Kualapu’u shortly before 7 a.m., causing downed power lines to lie over the road, which was closed for about nine hours.

“Preliminary assessments show that after a utility pole came down along Kalae Highway, it caused a fault on the electrical system and triggered a loss of power generation at the Palaau baseyard,” said Hawaiian Electric spokesperson Shayna Decker.

The outage affected all 3,200 electric customers on Molokai. A majority of the island’s electricity service was restored by crews around 11 a.m.,…

Moratorium on Electric Disconnections Extended

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

Hawaiian Electric News Release

Hawaiian Electric service disconnections for nonpayment have been suspended through Dec. 31 for Molokai residents and customers statewide. The company urges customers challenged by the financial impact of COVID-19 to seek utility bill assistance from government and nonprofits, and to set up a payment arrangement plan.

The Public Utilities Commission yesterday ordered utilities to extend through Dec. 31 the moratorium on service disconnections for nonpayment. The company voluntarily suspended its collection efforts in March to ensure customers’ electric service would not be disrupted while many were staying home. The PUC subsequently ordered all utilities to suspend disconnections and Hawaiian Electric has since been following with the commission’s orders and timing for the disconnection moratorium.…

Help Form a Community-Owned Energy Coop

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

Shake Energy Release

On Saturday, Sept. 5, from 9 to 10 a.m., we will host another virtual public meeting to further our progress on formation of a cooperative to design and own renewable energy projects on Molokai. This follows in a series of community workshops hosted on Molokai about Community-Based Renewable Energy (CBRE). At these workshops, community residents expressed the desire for CBRE projects to be owned and managed locally by a cooperative entity. These meetings will be held regularly every two weeks to continue the effort to formalize this energy cooperative.

At this meeting, we will define and assign steering committee roles, draft a milestones timeline for incorporating the cooperative, draft a sources and uses budget, review site selection information and draft a rubric for vetting partners.…

Forming a Community-Owned Energy Cooperative

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

Shake Energy Collaborative News Release

On Saturday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., we will host a virtual public meeting to share information and gather input on the formation of a cooperative to design and own renewable energy projects on Molokai. This meeting will be hosted by Shake Energy Collaborative, a public benefit corporation based in California, and follows in a series of community workshops hosted on Molokai about Community-Based Renewable Energy (CBRE). At these workshops, community residents expressed the desire for CBRE projects to be owned and managed locally by a cooperative entity. This meeting will launch the effort to formalize this energy cooperative.…

Hawaiian Electric to Hold Virtual Molokai Community Meeting

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Hawaiian Electric News Release

Hawaiian Electric will host a virtual community meeting to provide updates on energy plans for Molokai on Thursday, July 16, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Due to ongoing pandemic safety precautions that include social distancing, the public is invited to join this live virtual meeting by going to www.hawaiianelectric.com/communitymeetings. The meeting will be done via WebEx, an online video platform, accessible from a landline telephone, mobile device or computer.

The discussion will feature Hawaiian Electric panelists who will discuss upcoming energy plans for the island, including upgrades to the electrical system and renewable energy projects. They will be Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui County and Hawaii Island utilities; Mat McNeff, director, Maui County utility; Rebecca Dayhuff-Matsushima, director, renewable acquisition; and Colton Ching, senior vice president, planning and technology.…

Electric Disconnections Suspended Through June

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Hawaiian Electric News Release

Hawaiian Electric has suspended service disconnections for nonpayment through June 30 to ensure customers’ electricity needs are met as stay-at-home orders are extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Customers should not worry about their power being shut off due to nonpayment through the end of June, and any threat of immediate disconnection unless payment is made received before June 30 should be treated as a scam. Customers experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic are urged to contact Hawaiian Electric to discuss payment arrangements and options.

Hawaiian Electric continues its modified operations on Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus, which includes extending the closure of its walk-in payment centers through June 30.…

Hawaiian Electric Adjusts Operations Due to Coronavirus

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Hawaiian Electric News Release

Hawaiian Electric continues to adjust its operations on Molokai and other islands to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus, including postponing less urgent repair and maintenance work, and closing walk-in customer payment centers at least through April.
None of the operational changes being made will interrupt electric service to customers.
To ensure electric service is not disrupted, Hawaiian Electric is postponing projects and work that would require customer outages, unless it is deemed critical for safety or reliability. Our crews and contractors will continue to perform essential work that involves little interaction with the public, including tree trimming (to reduce potential outages), replacement of equipment, and system resilience work that is difficult to reschedule.…

Hawaiian Electric Suspends Disconnections

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Hawaiian Electric News Release
Hawaiian Electric will suspend service disconnections for 30 days so customers who are financially challenged by the coronavirus pandemic don’t have to worry about losing electric service.
Service disconnections of both residential and commercial customers will be suspended through at least April 17. Depending on the situation at that time, the special assistance period may be extended.
Customers facing financial hardship are urged to call customer service so payment options and schedules can be arranged to help keep payments manageable. While customers will still be responsible for paying their electric bills, payment schedules and other options can help ease the financial challenges for those most affected by the COVID-19 situation.…

Technology Allows More Solar on Molokai

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

A technology collaboration between University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) and Maui Electric will allow more rooftop solar systems to be added on Molokai’s electric grid.

At the end of 2018, a 750-kilowatt (kW) “load bank” was connected to the island’s electrical grid at Maui Electric’s Pala‘au power plant. The load bank acts as a “safety valve” designed to rapidly absorb excess energy that might occur during periods of high photovoltaic (PV) generation during the day or unplanned system disruptions, such as a sudden loss of electricity usage on the grid, according to Maui Electric.
“A small island power system like Molokai is very dynamic, and the high PV penetration adds another level of complexity to managing those dynamics,” said Rick Rocheleau, HNEI director.…

Seeking Renewable Energy Partners

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

By Audrey Newman, Community Reporter

Maui Electric is opening up the island’s energy grid to solar and small wind projects in a competitive bid process that will be available to independent power producers as well as community groups.

“This is the next step in bringing more renewable energy to Molokai,” said Mahina Martin, government and community relations manager at Maui Electric (MECO), as she welcomed about 30 residents to a community meeting on Molokai 100 Percent Renewable Energy last Thursday evening at the Mitchell Pauole Center.

In MECO’s competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process, one or two projects will be selected.…