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Maui Electric Plans to Retire its Kahului Power Plant

April 3, 2017, 9:49 AM HST · Updated April 4, 8:06 AM
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Maui Electric Company has filed an Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice as it plans for the retirement of its Kahului Power Plant and a modernization of its grid to accommodate more renewable energy.

According to the document, Maui Electric has implemented operational improvements over the years to increase its use of available wind energy, as well as increasing amounts of energy from rooftop solar.  Its plans are to integrate more renewable energy into the transmission and distribution system in the future.

Maui Electric Company Central Maui Transmission and Distribution Project. Image: Munekiyo Hiraga

The company’s growing use of renewable energy has led to the evaluation of options for ensuring long-term system reliability.

In connection with this evaluation, Maui Electric announced its plans to retire the Kahului Power Plant, modify the use of generating units at the Mā‘alaea Power Plant, as well as modernize certain portions of its Central Maui transmission and distribution system.

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In order to facilitate the planned retirement of the Kahului Power Plant and modernize its grid, Maui Electric proposes improvements to portions of its existing transmission, distribution, and substation infrastructure which delivers power from its Mā‘alaea Power Plant and privately owned independent power producers such as Kaheawa and Auwahi Wind Farms to its customers in the Central Maui region.

The project consists of a series of improvements that will create a 69 kilovolt (kV) loop to supply the Central Maui electrical system the power needed to effectively operate without the power currently provided by the Kahului Power Plant.

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