Hawaii is in the midst of a major shift to renewable energy sources. The motivation behind this change is both economic and environmental, considering how isolated we are and how dependent on imports that made us in the past. Then we have our unique and delicate ecosystem that plays a major role in fueling our number one economic driver, tourism. There’s not a market or industry that isn’t affected by energy. Its prices figure into the cost of living calculated by those looking to buy a home on Maui, which is why we Maui realtors keep an eye on these things. Recently, Maui Electric Co. (MECO) has announced that it wants a renewable energy resource that will provide 40 megawatts of power.
The utility plans to remove its Kahului power plant, which has been in operation for nearly 70 years, and is asking the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for permission to begin acquiring half the 40 megawatts from renewable sources and the other half from “fuel-flexible resources” by 2022.
Before this process can move forward, the PUC has to open a docket so that MECO can issue a request for proposals. Those proposals would proceed under the PUC’s competitive bidding rules with an independent observer watching over the process. This means it will take some time for these plans to move forward, but the retirement of the plants have to be complete by November of 2024.
The plants currently provide 36 megawatts of energy to the island, so the energy they’re looking for would replace this output and then some. MECO also plans to issue another request for proposals later this year in order to bolster current renewable energy generation.
If you’d like to learn more about MECO and its plans, you can visit www.mauielectric.com. If you need assistance in your Maui real estate search, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We look forward to helping you through every step of the home buying process. Mahalo!