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Ku‘ia Solar project overlooks the West Maui vista.

Pauahiʻs 'āina on Maui backdrop for blessing of Mauiʻs newest solar farm

Nov. 29, 2018

Contributed by Crystal Kua

Pauahi’s ‘āina on Maui provided the backdrop for the blessing this week of one of Maui's first solar farms.

Ku‘ia Solar is located on 10.85 acres of Kamehameha Schools’ lands in Lahaina and was developed in partnership with Kenyon Energy and Maui Electric Company. The project, which went online October 4, offers up to 2.87 megawatts (MW) of solar power to Maui Electric’s grid at 11.06 cents per kilowatt-hour – enough energy to power 1,000 homes. Maui Electric passes the savings directly to Maui customers.

“Ku‘ia Solar provides opportunities for Kamehameha Schools to steward these lands in a way that reduces Hawai'i's dependence on fossil fuels while bringing ʻāina-based learning to haumāna (students) in the region through collaboration and innovation while fulfilling our mission to improve the well-being of Native Hawaiians through education,” said Kā‘eo Duarte, Kamehameha Schools’ vice president for community engagement and resources. Kamehameha Schools’ lands are home to projects that have the capacity to produce nearly 100 MW of renewable energy statewide.

KS Asset Management Director Dana Sato delivered remarks at the ceremony that was officiated by Kahu Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaiali‘i.  KS Asset Manager Keith Chang and Maui Moloka‘i Lāna‘i Region Project Analyst Jonathan Stenger also attended, and joined community members and officials.

Ku‘ia Solar was one of two large-scale solar farms blessed Wednesday on Maui.

“Kenyon Energy is pleased to partner with Maui Electric and Bay4 Energy Services to develop and operate these groundbreaking renewable energy projects, creating economic and environmental benefits for Maui’s citizen’s and local businesses,” said Clay Biddinger, chairman and CEO of Kenyon Energy. “We will continue to develop and operate renewable energy projects like this throughout Hawai‘i, including the acquisition of renewable energy projects from other solar partners.”

“Our work to add more renewable energy to power Maui is made possible thanks to partnerships like these with the community, area landowners, renewable energy developers and local policy and government leaders,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric. “Working together and securing large-scale renewable resources benefits everyone with more cost-effective, clean energy over the life of these major projects.”

Bay4 Energy, one of the nation’s largest independent renewable energy services providers, has been selected to provide ongoing asset management and operating services for both projects.

Kamehameha Schools joined partners Kenyon Energy and Maui Electric and other community members in the blessing of the 2.87 megawatt Ku‘ia Solar project.

The sun rises over the field of solar arrays on Pauahi’s ‘āina in the ‘ahupua ‘a of Ku‘ia in West Maui.

KS Asset Management Director Dana Sato and Land Asset Manager Keith Chang joined community members in the blessing of the newest solar farm on Maui located on KS land in Lahaina.

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