Hawai‘i’s first two community-owned and -designed solar projects coming to Molokai

Hawaiian Electrical lately introduced that contracts have been awarded to Hoʻāhu Power Cooperative Molokai to construct a group photo voltaic plus storage challenge. It should meet greater than 20% of Molokai’s vitality wants serving practically 1500 households—together with renters, homesteaders and different residents who will not be transitioning to renewables. The community-owned photo voltaic challenge is predicted to extend the island’s vitality independence and save residents cash on their utility payments.




Hawai’i’s first two community-owned and designed photo voltaic initiatives coming to Molokai
Subsequent step – proposals to be submitted to the Public Utilities Fee

MOLOKAI, Jan. 12, 2023 – Hawaiian Electrical and Ho’āhu Power Cooperative Molokai is shifting ahead with the primary two community-owned and designed photo voltaic plus battery initiatives within the state. These initiatives will meet over 20% of Molokai’s vitality wants and serve roughly 1,500 properties on the island. The Ho’āhu Neighborhood-Primarily based Renewable Power Tasks, Pālā’au Photo voltaic and Kualapu’u Photo voltaic, are the primary on the island to supply a shared photo voltaic program (often known as community-based renewable vitality or CBRE) to assist decrease the electrical energy payments for Molokai prospects who can’t set up personal rooftop photo voltaic.

After finishing a aggressive bidding analysis course of, which accounted for the price of the initiatives in addition to non-price components together with group outreach, Ho’āhu and Hawaiian Electrical entered into negotiations. As soon as the 20-year contracts are negotiated, Hawaiian Electrical and Ho’āhu will submit two functions for approval to the Public Utilities Fee.

Hoʻāhu Power Cooperative Molokai is a volunteer, grassroots nonprofit group shaped in 2020 by Molokai group advocates to allow island residents to design and personal renewable vitality initiatives constructed on Molokai.

Dedicated to vitality democracy, Hoʻāhu has spent three years internet hosting greater than 40 public workshops for Molokai residents to co-design group photo voltaic initiatives, from web site discovering and subscriber profit design to contractor interviews and evaluation of varied battery vitality storage programs.

Pālā’au Photo voltaic can present as much as 2.2 megawatts of photo voltaic vitality paired with a ten.1 megawatt-hour battery vitality storage system. The challenge will probably be positioned on property owned by Hawaiian Electrical, adjoining to the corporate’s Pālā’au Baseyard.

Kualapu’u Photo voltaic can present as much as 0.250 MW paired with a 1 MWh battery. The challenge will probably be positioned on the Kualapu’u Park and Neighborhood Middle with the challenge’s photo voltaic array mounted on carport buildings above the prevailing car parking zone.

“These two initiatives are the appropriate factor to do for Hawai’i and our planet,” mentioned Todd Yamashita, the president of Hoʻāhu. “It will present entry to renewables for individuals who want it most. Renters on Molokai are helpless and can’t set up photo voltaic panels. The photo voltaic group is saying, ‘Allow us to construct one photo voltaic farm for you within the discipline, and the vitality we produce and the revenue we make will probably be credited on to your invoice and the payments of different members of the vitality cooperative.'”

After the Ho’āhu initiatives are accepted and obtainable on Hawaiian Electrical’s CBRE Portal, Molokai prospects will develop into “subscribers” to one of many amenities. As soon as the initiatives are constructed and on-line, subscribers will obtain a credit score on their month-to-month electrical energy invoice based mostly on their degree of participation.

“We sit up for working additional with Ho’āhu Power Cooperative Molokai and their companions to convey these community-based shared photo voltaic initiatives on-line,” mentioned Rebecca Dayhuff Matsushima, vp of useful resource procurement for Hawaiian Electrical. “Each initiatives will assist our Molokai prospects decrease their vitality payments and additional cut back our carbon footprint in producing energy to satisfy the island’s vitality wants.”

In November 2021, the request for proposals opens for builders, firms, organizations or teams to develop into “subscriber organizations” in shared photo voltaic initiatives for Molokai prospects. The 2 Molokai shared photo voltaic initiatives are anticipated to be on-line by mid-2025.

“When Act 100 was handed in 2015 the intention was to make sure that the advantages of renewable vitality era turned extra accessible to extra residents who couldn’t instantly take part in renewable vitality manufacturing. The CBRE program made that and I am proud that my Molokai group has the chance to take part by means of the Hoʻāhu Power Cooperative,” mentioned Sen. Lynn DeCoite. “These initiatives are promising steps in direction of our renewable vitality future on the pleasant island.”

Hoʻāhu enlisted the help of Shake Power Collaborative, a Honolulu-based, women-owned public profit company, to facilitate the design and improvement of community-led initiatives. Hoʻāhu additionally chosen Maui-based profit company Mana Pacific to help the technical improvement of the initiatives. Many contractors and companions additionally contributed to the cooperative’s success together with Kohala Middle, Morikawa and Associates, Shiny Future Consulting, Orrick, X Utility, and Arizona State College.

Hoʻāhu’s group possession is made attainable by means of the help of mission-aligned funding companions together with The Folks’s Photo voltaic Power Fund, Hawaii Inexperienced Infrastructure Authority, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Ulupono Initiative, all of whom offered funds or letters to goal of the challenge.

For extra details about Ho’āhu initiatives, go to hoahuenergy.coop/cbre. For extra info on Hawaiian Electrical’s shared photo voltaic program, go to hawaiianelectric.com/sharedsolar and communityenergyhawaii.com.

Hoʻāhu would additionally wish to thank the Sierra Membership of Hawaiʻi, Earthjustice, Rep. Mahina Poe, United States Sen. Brian Schatz, Sen. Mazie Hirono, Councilwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, Senator Lynn DeCoite, Molokai Clear Power Hui, Sustainable Molokai, Aina Momona, and Lifetime of the Land.


Media Contacts

Molokai Power Cooperative: Roxanna Smith 510.326.0390


Hawaiian Electrical: Shayna Decker 808.446.1184


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