Maui Electric Adds Cheap Solar to its Grid

Maui Electric Company said it turned on its second large-scale solar project on Tuesday, October 5. The 2.87-MW project spans 10.85 acres and was built in partnership with Kenyon Energy, the developer, and M+W Energy, which served as EPC for the project.

Maui Electric said it is buying the energy for 11.06 cents ($0.1106) per kWh and that it doesn’t take a profit or markup the purchased energy, passing that savings on to its customers.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in Hawaii is 32.76 cents ($ 0.3276) per kWh. 

The project is located on land owned by Kamehameha Schools in Lahaina.

Financing for Kenyon Energy’s South Maui project was provided by Key Equipment Finance through its Energy Solutions team. Maui Electric is also purchasing power from another Kenyon Energy project, South Maui Renewable Resources, which came online in May. Bay4 Energy will provide ongoing asset management and operating services for both projects.

Currently, Maui County has a renewable energy portfolio of 34 percent – ahead of the state’s target of 30 percent renewable energy by 2020. On some days, a significant portion of the electricity used on Maui comes from large grid-scale and privately-owned renewables, such as wind, hydro, biofuels, and nearly 12,000 rooftop solar systems. In June 2017, Maui Electric reached a peak of 77 percent of its power coming from renewable energy resources. 

“We’re pleased to be able to partner with the community, area landowners, renewable energy developers, and local policy and government leaders in adding more clean energy to power Maui,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric.

“Securing stable, more cost-effective renewable energy through new large-scale renewable resources benefits all of our customers over the life of these major projects.”

Learn more about All Things Solar at POWER-GEN International 2018, taking place in Orlando, Florida, December 4-6. Learn about the solar educational offerings here.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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