Maui Business

Countdown to 2017 Maui Energy Conference

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Colton Ching, Hawaii Electric Company; Gavin Bade, Utility Dive; and Mark Glick, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute are returning to speak at this year’s Maui Energy Conference.

With the State of Hawaiʻi recognized as a pioneer in the new energy economy and regulatory landscape, over 350 delegates are expected to attend the 2017 Maui Energy Conference at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center happening next week.

Hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Economic Development Board, the fourth annual event features 10 panel sessions, 50 Speakers, 5 Case Studies, and 20 exhibitors.

Utilities of all stripes, regulators, ISOs, consumer advocates, urban planners, transportation specialists, renewable energy providers, clean energy activists, state and local government officials and others will find value in Hawaiʻi’s experience and the knowledge and experience of a variety of local, national and international experts.

“The conference provides ample time for networking to dive deeper into challenges, insights, new technologies, and unique perspectives emerging from the sessions,” said Frank De Rego Jr., Director of Business Development Projects at MEDB and member of the conference Program Committee.


50 Speakers will present, debate and discuss the broad theme, “All Things Energy” over two days.

Guillermo (Gil) Penalosa of 8 80 Cities headlines the event with his talk on “Creating vibrant, healthy, and resilient communities for all.” We seem to be facing a “perfect storm” of threats and challenges, but in every challenge lies opportunity. How we plan, build and cultivate a healthy city life for people of all ages, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds has never been more important than it is today. Drawing on his experience working with over 250 cities across 6 continents, Gil provides a holistic approach to tackling key urban challenges by focusing on both bold but doable actions any community can take to become stronger and more resilient in the face of change.

Michelle Wyman, Executive Director of the National Council for Science and Environment will kickstart the Conference on Day 2. The former Director of the US Department of Energy will present “The Resilience of Scientific Integrity during Uncertain Times,” exploring the intersects and alignments between energy, science and policy, and offer insights into pursuing those.

Joining a number of speakers from Hawaiʻi, will be speakers from Colorado, Washington State, California as well as Japan.


There will be 10 panel sessions with a focus on resilience. The conference will investigate the strategies required to secure reliable, safe and affordable energy as an entire system. Resilience will be the thread that weaves together various dimensions of our discussion as we visit the place of nuclear energy as a “clean” energy source; the role of electrification in transportation; the importance of land use planning with its relation to energy production and consumption; the place of biofuels and biomass in our energy mix; technological innovations in energy storage and grid stability; the water, agriculture, and energy security nexus and much more.

“I think it represents our most ambitious Program yet,” said Jeanne Skog, President of Maui Economic Development Board. “The Program Committee did a remarkable job.”

Five Case Studies will inform the audience of new technology and other methods to meet sustainability goals. Case studies will be presented by Hawaii Energy (Energy Efficiency); Holu Energy (Energy Storage); Mercedes Benz (World’s Largest Second Use Battery Storage); Silver Spring Networks (Savings for Consumers derived from AMI & Smart Grid Connectivity); and Alaska Air will share how they track sustainability.

Twenty Exhibitors will be showcasing their energy products and innovations.


On Friday, March 24, there will be a Sustainability Workshop with a tour of the Maui Brewing Company and the Maui High Performance Computing Center.

TERAwatt Sponsor HNU Energy will unveil its new HIVE battery storage solution. GIGAwatt sponsors are Silver Spring Networks, Hitachi, Ulupono Initiative and Maui County.

The full list of sponsors is: Alaska Airlines, County of Maui, Hawaiian Electric Companies, Hawaii Energy/Leidos, Hawaii Gas, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, Hawaii State Energy Office, Hitachi, HNU Energy, Holu Energy, HTDC, Itron, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, Mercedes-Benz Energy, More Than Smart, Pacific Biodiesel, PVH Energy Storage, Sempra Renewables, Silver Spring Networks, Ulupono Initiative.


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