, , ,

Give Input on Renewable Energy Projects

Ho’ahu News Release 

Come learn about and give input on the first community-owned solar projects on Molokai at a virtual meeting to be held May 20 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Residents can check hoahuenergy.coop/community-meetings/ for login information.

The purpose of the meeting is to share information about two community-based renewable energy projects proposed to be developed on Molokai in Kualapuʻu and Palaʻau and to solicit public comments to be filed with the Public Utilities Commission.

Hoʻahu Energy Cooperative Molokai (Hoʻahu) was first formed in 2020 by Molokai community advocates to enable our island residents to design and own renewable energy projects built on Molokai. Hoʻahu’s first effort was to design solar and storage project proposals to submit to Hawaiian Electric’s Community-Based Renewable Energy (CBRE) Request for Proposals (RFP). This effort resulted in two solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage system (BESS) projects, which were designed by the Molokai community through over 40 public workshops from March 2020 to March 2022. In December 2022, Hoʻahu and Hawaiian Electric finalized terms and details for these projects – which are the first community-owned community solar projects being developed in Hawaii!

Kualapuʻu Community Based Renewable Energy Project is proposed to be located at the Kualapuʻu Park and Community Center, a County of Maui facility at the corner of Uwao St. and Alahula St. in the town of Kualapuʻu. The proposal includes a 250 kW AC (325 kW AC) PV array mounted on carport structures over the existing parking lot, paired with a 250 kW AC (1MWh) BESS. The selected battery technology is Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP).

Palāʻau Community Based Renewable Energy Project is proposed for a parcel owned by Hawaiian Electric adjacent to Palaʻau Power Plant on Ulili St. in Kaunakakai. The proposal includes a 2.2 MW AC (3.3 MW DC) ground-mounted PV array paired with a 2.2 MW (10.1 MWh) BESS. The PV and BESS collectively cover approximately 6.7 acres of land. The selected battery technology is Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP).

The two projects are expected to complete construction in 2025, after which Molokai residents will be able to sign up to subscribe, become a member in the coop, and save money on their electricity bill.

Hoʻahu hosts monthly community workshops to co-design these and other projects to serve the Molokai community. This particular workshop is being announced to give an opportunity for Molokai community members to provide comments that will be included in the application to the Public Utilities Commission for approval of the projects’ contracts. Please come and share your manaʻo — whether you have already participated or not!

Public comments are welcome at any time, to info@hoahuenergy.coop. Comments received by June 19 will be compiled and submitted to the PUC.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.