Maui News


May 27, 2009, 3:18 PM HST
* Updated May 27, 3:26 PM
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The private sewage treatment plant at the Makena Resort is on its way to becoming the first net-zero energy wastewater treatment and reclamation plant in the state.

A blessing was held today as Dowling Company unveiled the 549 panel system.  A second phase of the project calls for an additional 498 photovoltaic panels which will produce 300,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.  That is expected to save the resort 175 barrels of oil each year.

Resort officials say the reclamation plant generates enough electricity to power 851 homes on Maui.  In oil savings, officials say it is the equivalent of removing 309 cars from Maui roadways.

The installation of the PV system is part of the Makena Resort’s strict green policy.  Future plans also call for the development of a 35-acre photovoltaic farm and a 12-acre organic farm.


The Hoku Solar PV panels are mounted on the plant’s ground, roof and as a canopy and was designed to shade clarifying basins and reduce algae growth.


The Makena Wastewater Reclamation Plant treats 100% of resort’s wastewater on-site, with a capacity of 750,000 gallons per day.  Wastewater is treated to the R-1 level before it is reclaimed and used for golf course irrigation.

In remarks during the blessing ceremony, Everett Dowling president of Dowling Company and managing partner of Makena Land LLC, which owns Makena Resort, stated:  “The great news about this reclamation plant, aside from offering enormous energy savings by utilizing the power of the sun, is that it provides nutirent-rich water for the golf courses in the resort without using one drop of potable water.”

Over 25 years, the plant is expected to offset more than 4,800 tons of carbon dioxide, 22 tons of sulphur dioxide and 8 tons of nitrous oxide emissions.  The facility also has the capacity to treat 750,000 gallons of water per day, using treated effluent to irrigate the company’s golf course.


(Posted by Wendy Osher © 2009)

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