Milestone in Renewable Energy Planning
Molokai Clean Energy Hui News Release
The Clean Energy Hui, a community-based volunteer group, submitted the Molokai Community Energy Resilience Action Plan (CERAP) 1.0 report to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on July 14. It marks another step towards Molokai meeting the 2045 state commitment for 100 percent renewable energy.
The CERAP journey started in July 2021, when the Hui requested a PUC status conference to place on hold a Hawaiian Electric-proposed project at Pala’au and provide time for Molokai to develop their own community-based renewable energy plan. The unprecedented status conference request was successful, and the Hui began developing and executing the community-initiated and led renewable energy planning process in partnership with the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute which are the renewable energy technical advisors. With a framework in place, the Hui sought community input about Molokai’s renewable energy future for the next two years. MCEH is a Sustainable Molokai project.
“CERAP can be a truly community-led, island-wide process, and the community’s mana’o will drive the planning and decisions based on the environmental, cultural, and economic values, in addition to cost tradeoffs,” said Leilani Chow, the plan’s coordinator.
The community participated in more than 2800 community conversations, completed 713 surveys, attended 30 plus group workshops, 17 community events, and countless volunteer hours gathering and interpreting data. The community donated time to learn about renewable energy challenges and opportunities to provide the Hui with well-informed feedback. CERAP is a model for how energy planning can be done in rural communities, on islands, across Hawaii, and anywhere that values local decision-making.
The Molokai CERAP 1.0 report consolidates the historical, cultural and technical snapshot of past and current findings, evolving new technologies, proposed changes in regulations and policies, a portfolio of 10 community-supported, value-based clean energy projects, and proposed next steps to a renewable energy future. The digital report is available online at sustainablemolokai.org/ located under renewable energy, and printed reports are available at the public library.
The PUC will review the report and provide feedback about next steps. In addition MCEH was notified last week, Molokai’s CERAP was chosen by The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP), to provide technical assistance to transform energy systems and increase energy resilience through strategic energy planning and the implementation of solutions that address Molokai’s specific island challenges. Molokai was chosen because the community completed an energy resilience action plan with key energy priorities. The funds and expertise will assist in modeling and assessing the feasibility of solar energy, identifying rural energy sources to support critical infrastructure, and exploring pumped hydropower as an energy storage option. Molokai’s journey towards a renewable energy future continues.