An interesting new development is in the works for South Maui, only it isn’t residential, it’s a solar farm. South Maui Renewable Resources is actually based out of West Maui, but plans to develop on a property near the Maui Research and Technology Park in Kihei.
The solar farm would provide 2.87 megawatts to Maui Electric Co. as one of its two recent power purchase agreements. The other will provide 2.87 megawatts from a property in Lahaina near Lahainaluna School, and will be developed by Ku’ia Solar LLC. Together the projects would provide the island with 5.7 megawatts total. These developments are worth keeping an eye on if you’re interested in your future utility bills as a Maui home owner or resident.
Although the power purchase agreements have been signed, the Public Utilities Commission still needs to approve the contracts. The power will be sold to Maui Electric’s grid for 11.06 cents per kilowatt-hour. The average monthly rate for residential customers has been reported at 37.83 cents per kilowatt hour.
The exciting part is that Maui Electric Co. has stated that it doesn’t mark up the cost or make a profit on purchased power, so ratepayers will get the benefit of those cheaper rates. Of course, it’s important to remember that this power will only comprise a fraction of Maui’s power sources, and those other sources come with their own costs. The cheaper the sources, like these projects, the cheaper our utility bill will be.
If you’d like to take a more aggressive approach to saving money on your electric bill, you might want to consider adding a rooftop photovoltaic system to your Maui home. There are already 8,000 such systems installed in Maui County, and 2,000 of them were just installed last year, according to Maui Electric Co. At this point, over 30 percent of Maui County’s electricity is coming from renewable sources, and that figure will increase over time as the state marches toward its 100 percent renewable energy goal.
As for your Maui real estate search, if you need assistance, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We would be happy to put our many years of expertise to work helping you navigate the nuances of our Maui real estate market. Mahalo!