Ho’ahu Energy Coop Gets Federal Support
Sen. Schatz News Release
Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai, a local group developing Molokai’s first community-owned renewable energy resource project, will receive federal support, including technical assistance, from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
“This kind of hands-on federal support will help us expand clean energy production on Molokai as the community moves to take its energy future into its own hands. That means more jobs, more reliable energy, and cheaper electric bills for Molokai residents,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.
Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai will receive tailored expert support from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a DOE National Lab, to address the island’s unique energy challenges. During this first phase of the initiative, Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai will receive one-on-one assistance from PNNL, including training, energy and economic analysis, workforce and equity assessments, and grant application assistance. The program also aims to help participating communities develop a network of experts that can serve as a valuable resource even after the technical assistance phase ends. Technical assistance will take place over a ten-month timeframe extending to the end of 2022. After that, Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai may advance to a second phase of assistance, which will involve engineering and budgetary guidance and other technical support for project deployment.
“Molokai, which is 60 percent Hawaiian by population, is challenged with energy rates nearly 400 percent higher than the national average,” said Todd Yamashita, president of Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai. “We are excited about this opportunity because it’s helping us create, on our own terms, an energy future that is reflective of the resilient and resourceful nature of our people.”
The federal support is part of a DOE initiative designed to support communities that experience problems with their energy systems. It aims to mitigate energy access, affordability, and reliability challenges by helping those communities design energy storage solutions.