MECO Receives Funds to Study Molokai
To increase renewable energy storage, the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has awarded $2.1 million in federal stimulus funds to electric companies on Hawaii Island and Maui County.
Maui Electric Company (MECO) will receive $1.2 million to pay for an interconnection study on Molokais only grid, to identify any system upgrades that would allow for more generation distribution to be added to the circuit.
“This stimulus grant will allow Maui Electric to understand the value of using battery systems to support more photovoltaic solar power and other distributed energy for our customers while maintaining the essential reliability our customers count on,” said Ed Reinhardt, Maui Electric president. “It is a win-win situation for our customers and everyone in Maui County.”
Right now, two circuits on Molokai are ‘tapped out,’ and no other private residence can attach its renewable energy source – most likely solar – to the island’s grid without further study.