High-tech innovation fuels Gen-X Energy

Gen-x-EnergyGen-X Energy Development LLC is quickly becoming a driving force in Hawaii’s movement away from dependence on fossil fuels.

The company’s aim is to continue development of renewable solar, wind and micro-hydro energy projects in the state. In 2012, Gen-X led the installation of 2 million watts of solar energy for the County of Maui. That project was completed in December.

Gen-X-photoANow, Gen-X is developing an off-grid renewable energy powered water pumping system funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and private investment for North Kohala’s agricultural community on the Big Island. The project is targeted to begin operation this month and will be capable of pumping 30 million gallons of water daily. Gen-X also was involved in the installation of a 100-kilowatt wind turbine for Hawaii Water Service in Waikoloa.

“We help businesses and municipalities control and reduce their cost of energy by providing reliable, sustainable renewable energy at rates lower than the utilities provide with no up-front costs,” said M. Fred Brown, managing member and co-founder of Gen-X.

The company’s other co-founder and managing member Leo K. Caires said Gen-X welcomes innovation. “We are always open to exploring alternative strategies and new partnerships that can add value to the overall core objectives and vision of Gen-X,” he said. “Some opportunities that stand out would be partnering with other organizations who may want to invest in projects that may have Hawaii state income tax liabilities which can be offset by investing in clean energy projects. This type of arrangement allows the capital to remain in Hawaii’s capital markets.”

Yet even innovation can encounter obstacles. Brown said one of the company’s biggest challenges is “people’s natural resistance to change, even change that will benefit communities, the state and the world.”

He said he would encourage other high-tech companies to do business on Maui because “we need to encourage innovation for a better world.”

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