Energy Coop Gets Support for $7.5M Loan
Ho’ahu Energy Coop News Release
Ho’ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai, a local group formed to build community-owned energy projects for community benefits, received initial support for a state loan of $7.5 million to fund a 2.75 megawatt solar and battery storage project the Coop is proposing on Molokai.
The board of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA) met virtually on Oct. 27 to hear the proposal from Hoʻahu President Todd Yamashita and co-development partner, Ali Andrews of Shake Energy Collaborative. At that meeting, the board voted to set aside $7.5 million from their Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) Program for Hoʻahu’s Community-based Renewable Energy (CBRE) solar and battery storage project. The project will still have to meet HGIA’s requirements and due diligence after the project hopefully wins a contract with MECO through a competitive bidding process next year.
This funding would provide a loan to Hoʻahuʻs project which would be repaid through the project’s revenue over time. Hoʻahu is in the process of securing commitments and support for the rest of the project costs before submitting its proposal to MECO next year.
“News of this financing points toward an exciting and important point where Molokai can soon use renewable energy to bring economic relief to its residents,” said Yamashita. “Most importantly, these funds go a long way in ensuring this project continues to be community controlled and owned. We are also hoping our work with GEMS will allow future subscribers to see their energy credits on their utility bill. Our community has let us know that they want the maximum benefit from this project and these tools will allow access to renewables for those of us here on Molokai who need it the most.”
Hoʻahu invites you to join the next virtual community workshop on Saturday, Nov. 13, 9 to 10:30 a.m. to hear more about the project and give input.
This Saturday, we will hear about cultural considerations for the site and layout of the solar and battery installations. After their presentation we will have time for questions and discussion on how to design the project in a way that best respects the cultural landscape it will be built in.
Please sign up for the next Zoom meeting on Hoʻahuʻs website, hoahuenergy.coop. For any questions or ideas, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.