Wind, water, solar – the opportunities for renewable energy research and production in Maui are boundless. Surrounded by ocean, bathed in abundant sunshine and covered by a mountainous landscape, Maui is a perfect fit for harnessing the power of mother nature.
The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative
In 2008, a partnership between the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy launched the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. The Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative aims to transform Hawaii into a world model for energy independence and sustainability. The goal is to meet 70% of Hawaii’s energy needs with clean energy by 2030.
In 2014 further commitments were made, including the nation’s first-ever 100 percent renewable energy portfolio standard by the year 2045.
Additionally the County of Maui is charting a course to develop clean energy technologies for use at home and across the world, to help protect the natural environment for generations to come. Maui is home to a growing portfolio of power production options, including community-based sustainable biodiesel, wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric. With aggressive high technology tax incentives – a 100% return on cash investments and a 20% research tax credit in qualified businesses – Maui looks to continue its course as a community powered by and invested in clean energy.
Maui Energy Conference
On March 22-24, 2017 the fourth annual Maui Energy Conference will be held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center discussing the latest and hottest topics on All Things Energy.
Clean, Renewable Energy Generation on Maui
Two large renewable energy projects—a 30-megawatt wind farm (the state’s largest) and a 16-megawatt biomass power plant burning bagasse at a commercial sugar operation—already provide Maui with about 20% renewable energy generation. Maui also has a few megawatts of hydroelectric generation, and rooftop PV distributed across the island currently contributes approximately 1 megawatt to the island’s renewable energy portfolio.
Additional Renewable Resources
Technical assessments show that Maui has significant additional resource potential, including
- Wind energy—67 megawatts
- Biomass energy—25 megawatts
- Geothermal energy—140 megawatts
- Solar thermal energy (exact capacity to be determined).
Proposed renewable generation projects include 42 megawatts of wind energy, 6 megawatts of biomass power, and 10 megawatts of geothermal.Although ocean energy technologies are not yet proven on a commercial scale, Maui is at the forefront of ocean energy research. The island is planning to help test and demonstrate a wave project off its north coast in the near future.
Maui Clean Technology Firms
|Company||Products / Services|
|Bio Energy Systems of Hawaii||Renewable energy production facilities development and operation, with an emphasis on biomass fueled systems|
|Gen-X Energy||Renewable energy development, installation, operation, maintenance and financing|
|HC&S Company||Bagasse and hydroelectric power generation|
|Hnu Photonics||Diversified renewable technologies, scientific instruments and medical devices incubator; mechanical, opto-mechanical and electro-opto-mechanical technologies manufacturer|
|Kaheawa Wind Power||Wind power production|
|Pacific Biodiesel||Community-based biodiesel fuel production|
|Peletex||Air filtration research and development|