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Maui’s renewable energy future to be discussed on June 26

By Staff | Jun 20, 2019

KAHULUI – What will it take for Maui to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and what would the island’s landscape look like?

Join the discussion at the community forum “100% Renewable Energy: What Will Maui Look Like?” on Wednesday, June 26, at the J. Walter Cameron Center Auditorium at 95 Mahalani St. in Wailuku.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m., with discussion to follow from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Presented in partnership with Maui Electric Company, Maui Tomorrow and the Sierra Club, the forum features the following panelists who will share their perspective on working toward a clean energy future for Maui: Kumu Kapono’ai Molitau; Albert Perez, executive director of Maui Tomorrow; Jennifer Potter, commissioner on the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission; Chris Reynolds, director of system operations for Maui Electric Company;

Alex de Roode, energy commissioner for the County of Maui; Dana Sato, director of asset management, community engagement and resources for Kamehameha Schools; and Rob Weltman, president of the Sierra Club.

“As part of our effort to promote ecologically sound development, Maui Tomorrow Foundation strives to provide information to the public about their energy options,” Perez said.

“We look forward to exploring what Maui will be like when we have achieved 100 percent renewable energy.”

Private rooftop and utility-scale solar, biofuel and wind resources boosted the amount of renewable energy used to generate electricity on Maui to 38 percent as of 2018. This exceeds the state’s goal of 30 percent renewables by 2020.

“Achieving the ambitious mark of 100 percent renewables by 2045 will require all of us working together,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui County and Hawaii Island Utilities.

“As Maui Electric starts to put more bids out to procure more renewable energy projects for the island, it will take informed energy developers, available land resources and ongoing dialogue with our communities, regulators and government leaders.”

Weltman agreed and said, “Maui can and must be powered by carbon-neutral, local, environmentally friendly technologies, including solar and wind. Contributing to sea level rise and extreme weather events through continued dependence on fossil fuels is not an option for our vulnerable island community. Let’s get it done together.”