Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission Signs off on Molokai Renewable Energy Project

The Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission has approved and signed off on a 2.64-megawatt project, which includes a 3-MW battery energy storage system, which will be owned and operated by Molokai New Energy Partners, who will then sell the electricity to Maui Electric Company. The project is expected to be in service towards the end of 2019.

The project's approval stems from the committee's expected belief that the project is expected to provide savings to the island's 3,200 customers every year of the 22-year contract. The project will deliver clean, solar-powered energy at about 17 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is less than the present cost of diesel energy generation. More-so, Maui Electric Company makes no mark-up and takes no profit on electricity purchased from independent power producers like MNEP.

"As this solar and battery project moves forward, we recognize there is still much to be done in our efforts to reach 100 percent renewable energy on Molokai," said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric. "We'll be seeking more affordable renewables to power the island and look forward to continue working with the Molokai community, policy makers and renewable energy developers to achieve this ambitious goal."

The residents of Molokai continue to reconnect with their traditional practices and the natural ways of maintaining their land, as depicted in Abundant Land. As admirable as that is, it is also just as promising that eco-friendly technology and government initiatives are also being established to restore the island of Molokai to its best shape.

By Sanak Miriyala, Abundant Land: Soil, Seeds, and Sovereignty