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Key finances Maui’s first large-scale solar project

By Amy Thomas in Industry Trends Posted May 10, 2018

With financing provided by Key Equipment Finance, Maui’s first large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar project came online on Saturday on land owned and managed by Haleakala Ranch Company in South Maui. The 11.3-acre project, located in Haleakala Ranch pastures mauka of Pi‘ilani Highway near the Maui Research & Technology Park in Kīhei was created in partnership with Maui Electric Company and Kenyon Energy.

south_maui_renewable_resourcesMaui Electric will buy the power from the independently owned and operated South Maui Renewable Resources project by Kenyon Energy. The project can offer up to 2.87 megawatts (MW) of solar power to Maui Electric’s grid at 11.06 cents per kilowatt hour. Maui Electric does not mark up or take a profit from this purchased power, passing the savings directly to Maui customers.

“We are excited to add more renewable energy resources to power our island’s homes, schools, and businesses through our new partnership with Kenyon Energy and our continued partnership with Haleakala Ranch Company,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric. “Such partnerships are a key component in our efforts to reach 100 percent renewable energy for our islands. By working together on this ambitious goal, we’re securing long-term affordable clean energy for all of our customers, reducing the island’s use of imported fossil fuel, and maintaining safe and reliable electrical service our growing communities depend on.”

Financing for Kenyon Energy’s South Maui project was provided by Key Equipment Finance through its Energy Solutions team.

“Kenyon Energy is very pleased to partner with Maui Electric on this groundbreaking solar energy project,” said Clay Biddinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Kenyon Energy. “This project is creating tangible economic and environmental benefits for Maui’s citizens and local businesses. We are working hard to continue to develop and operate renewable energy projects similar to this throughout Hawai‘i, including the acquisition of renewable energy projects from other solar partners.”

Maui Electric will also be purchasing power from another Kenyon Energy project, Ku‘ia Solar in West Maui, when the 2.87-MW project comes online later in May.

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. Last June, Maui Electric reached a peak of 77 percent of its power coming from renewable energy resources.

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