New solar project could mean lower electric bills for Molokai residents

New solar project could mean lower electric bills for Molokai residents

MOLOKAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a project that could lower electric bills for Molokai residents, Maui Electric Company agreed on Tuesday to buy electricity from a solar storage facility to be built by Molokai New Energy Partners.

If the project is approved by the Public Utilities Commission, it would be Molokai's first large-scale solar facility.

The 2.7-megawatt project would include a 3-megawatt battery energy storage system and is expected to be up and running by the end of next year.

"This agreement is an important step as we continue to work with the Molokai community in reaching 100 percent renewable energy for the island," said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric in a news release. "As part of these efforts, our goal is to always look for lower prices for clean energy that will benefit all of our customers over the life of our contracts."

If successful, the project would mean savings for Molokai's 3,200 customers for the duration of the 22-year contract, assuming the application of a federal New Markets Tax Credit provided by Punawai O Puuhonua, a Hawaii based community development group.

Molokai's small island grid has had one of the highest amounts of solar concentration in the state in recent years.

The project would be located on land owned by Molokai Ranch adjacent to Maui Electric's Palaau Power Plant.

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