Hawaiian Electric hosts Maui update on renewable energy and generation plans
Hawaiian Electric will hold a community meeting on April 13 to provide an update on the renewable energy transition and recent developments on the status of the island’s existing power generation resources.
The in-person meeting will be held in the Hawaiian Electric auditorium (210 W. Kamehameha Ave., Kahului) from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and will also be broadcast live on Akakū Channel 54, allowing viewers to submit their questions during the presentation.
Among the topics to be discussed is Hawaiian Electric’s potential plans for new firm renewable generating units that can run on a variety of fuels, including biofuels. Firm generation refers to resources that are available whenever needed and can help fill the gap when variable resources like wind and solar aren’t available.
This planning effort comes at a time when the global supply chain crisis continues to have long-term cascading effects on renewable energy projects in Hawai‘i, particularly Maui. Of six solar and storage projects planned for Maui since 2019, only three remain and construction has started on only one, the 60-megawatt AES Kuihelani project. Projects have been canceled and delayed for various reasons, including supply chain issues as well as financial, legal and regulatory challenges.
Community engagement and consultation is an important part of energy planning and this will be the first of meetings held by the company to brief residents on Maui’s energy situation. Any new renewable energy projects proposed on Maui require a plan for engagement, communication and financial benefits directed to address needs in the community.