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Maui’s first large-scale solar project comes online in Kihei

By Staff | May 24, 2018

In partnership with Maui Electric Company and Kenyon Energy, Maui is now receiving renewable energy from the island’s first large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar project that came online on May 5 in South Maui.

KAHULUI – In partnership with Maui Electric Company and Kenyon Energy, Maui’s first large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar project came online on May 5 on land owned and managed by Haleakala Ranch Company in Kihei. Maui Electric is buying the power from the independently owned and operated South Maui Renewable Resources project by Kenyon Energy.

The 11.3-acre project, located in Haleakala Ranch pastures mauka of Piilani Highway near the Maui Research & Technology Park, can offer up to 2.87 megawatts (MW) of solar power to Maui Electric’s grid at 11.06 cents per kilowatt hour.

Maui Electric does not mark up or take a profit from this purchased power, passing the savings directly to Maui customers.

“We are excited to add more renewable energy resources to power our island’s homes, schools and businesses through our new partnership with Kenyon Energy and our continued partnership with Haleakala Ranch Company,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric.

“Such partnerships are a key component in our efforts to reach 100 percent renewable energy for our islands. By working together on this ambitious goal, we’re securing long-term affordable clean energy for all of our customers, reducing the island’s use of imported fossil fuel and maintaining safe and reliable electrical service our growing communities depend on.”

Financing for Kenyon Energy’s South Maui project was provided by Key Equipment Finance through its Energy Solutions team.

Maui Electric will also be purchasing power from another Kenyon Energy project, Ku’ia Solar in West Maui, when the 2.87-MW project comes online later this month.

Currently, Maui County has a renewable energy portfolio of 34 percent – ahead of the state’s target of 30 percent renewable energy by 2020.

On some days, a significant portion of the electricity used on Maui comes from large grid-scale and privately owned renewables, such as wind, hydro, biofuels and nearly 12,000 rooftop solar systems.

Last June, Maui Electric reached a peak of 77 percent of its power coming from renewable energy resources.