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Ikehu Molokai Energy Update

Ikehu Molokai News Release

Aloha and Happy New Year!  We want to express our gratitude to the entire community for welcoming us in the past with great warmth and hospitality, and engaging as partners in planning for the Ikehu Molokai renewable energy project.  Our vision for the project reflects those sentiments and values embraced by residents and expressed at many community meetings for a healthy, sustainable, and energy independent island. Success of the Ikehu Molokai project will only be accomplished as a long term collaboration between community groups, residents, and the Ikehu Molokai planning team.

As you know, the Ikehu Molokai project has been proposed to convert the island’s electricity to renewable energy.  The project aims to reduce electric rates, stabilize the grid, make rooftop solar systems more viable, and create jobs.  Electricity will be produced for Molokai only, with no connection to a cable or export to other islands.

Over the past few months the Ikehu Molokai team has continued working on the design, engineering, and financing of the project.  As discussed with the community, Phase One of the project has been proposed to utilize photovoltaic energy coupled with battery energy storage, and has been proposed to be built on vacant industrial land adjacent to the MECo power plant.  The project has been designed to be safe, quiet, and low rise, and a good neighbor for residents of central Molokai.

Later phases will enable the community to consider adding electric vehicle charging stations and, for Molokai residents who want them, smart grid devices and other energy efficiency measures to lower electric bills.  These programs can be modeled along the lines of the refrigerator replacement program that Sustainable Molokai offered recently.

The Ikehu Molokai team will be returning to the community soon to present a project update and get feedback, suggestions, and comments on our progress.  Meetings will be held at various locations on the island and times and dates will be posted in the Molokai Dispatch.  We would also welcome the opportunity to sit down with individuals to discuss new ideas.

Another item to be aware of:  As most people know, Florida-based NextEra Energy has offered to buy HECo/MECo.  We understand that representatives from MECo will be visiting the community at some point to discuss the energy future of Molokai, including the proposed sale of HECo.  We hope that you can attend this meeting and show your support for renewables.

The Ikehu Molokai website is currently under revision.  For a more detailed update or to share your thoughts or ideas, please contact Andrea Taber at ataber@princetonenergy.net. Mahalo and we look forward to seeing you soon!

 

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