Free event marks official launch of energy program

The “JUMPSmartMaui” demonstration project will be launched officially Saturday during a free event at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului.

The project stems from an international partnership among Japan, Hawaii and Maui. It aims to improve the integration of renewable energy resources into Maui’s electrical grid and prepare for adoption of electric vehicles.

The Queen Ka’ahumanu Center is one of an initial five locations hosting a DC Fast Charger station on Maui.

The launch event will be held at the shopping mall’s center stage from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The festivities will include a performance by Willie K and remarks from Mayor Alan Arakawa, as well as representatives of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Hitachi and Maui Electric Co.

Student winners of the DC Fast Charger Station Art Contest will also be announced at the event.

In celebration of the demonstration project’s launch, center shoppers can receive a free movie pass (one per person) if they spend $50 between Monday and June 16.

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JUMPSmartMaui is funded through a $30 million investment by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan’s largest public research and development management group. Hitachi, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Cyber Defense Institute were awarded the project development contract, and they are collaborating with Nissan, the state of Hawaii, Maui County, Maui Electric, Hawaiian Electric Co., Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, the Maui Economic Development Board, the University of Hawaii Maui College and HNU Energy.

For more information, call 875-2300.