Maui News

Virtual Conference To Explore Energy Transition in Hawaiʻi Set for June 22 & 24

April 1, 2021, 10:21 AM HST
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(L-R): Doug McLeod, Chair of the Hawaiʻi Energy Conference Program Committee, and Frank De Rego, Jr., Vice Chairman of the Program Committee announced the 8th Hawaiʻi Energy Conference will take virtually on June 22 and 24. Courtesy photos.

The 8th Hawaiʻi Energy Conference to explore the “Energy Transition in Hawaiʻi: Focus on investments in people and projects” will be held virtually June 22 and 24.

The annual conference, presented by the Maui Economic Development Board and supported by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development, will feature keynotes, panel discussions, interviews and exhibits.

With in-person gatherings still limited due to COVID-19, the virtual presentation allows the energy industry leaders from Hawaiʻi, the Continental United States, Japan and Europe to continue to exchange ideas on how to better serve the community in today’s rapidly changing power generation and delivery environment.  

“In Hawai’i, we are approaching the renewable energy ‘tipping point’ where most of the daytime energy on the grid comes from renewable energy,” said Doug McLeod, Chair of the Hawaiʻi Energy Conference Program Committee. “2021 promises to be another year of big change in the energy sector both in Hawaiʻi and the rest of the nation.” 

There are many ways to invest in the future of energy in Hawaiʻi. It will take creativity and hard work from project developers; the community, including indigenous groups; regulators; and energy service providers to come up with projects that are acceptable for all concerned.

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Building trust and respect between stakeholders within the context of equitable community development will be a key metric of success. Any viable project will require substantial amounts of financial capital and an adequate return on investment. The skill development and job creation that results must take us towards a new energy economy, the news release said. 

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Every community faces similar challenges: How can we invest in people while designing energy projects that are financially viable, resilient and enhance job skills? 

“Hawaiʻi faces increased conflict in siting utility-scale energy projects – a challenged shared by many communities in the U.S.” said Frank De Rego, Jr., Director of Business Development Projects, MEDB, and Vice Chairman of the Program Committee.  “For many consumers, the essential question is: ‘When will all of us experience the tangible benefits of the new energy transition?’ Good question.” 

The conference also will include a virtual exhibit hall for companies to showcase their products and services and connect with attendees. Networking has been a key feature of the Hawaiʻi Energy Conference since its inception in 2014. The virtual platform will be open in advance, encouraging attendees to connect and build important relationships prior to, during and after the conference.  

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More details on the program and speakers will be released in the coming months in the countdown to June 22. 

For information on how to register and other details, visit: www.hawaiienergyconference.com

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