Forum to focus on climate change, energy resilience

The Maui News

Maui Electric Co. will host a free community forum titled “Energy Resilience on Maui” Nov. 29 at the Cameron Center Auditorium in Wailuku.

The event will be presented in partnership with Hi Performance Energy Resilient Communities, or HiPER Comm.

“Recent storms here locally remind us of the serious impact climate change is making on our islands,” said Sharon Suzuki, MECO president. “For our company, our efforts to strengthen our electrical grids on Maui, Molokai and Lanai as well as expand our storm recovery planning for greater resilience go year around.”

Such planning includes community dialogues to discuss readiness to prepare for and respond to potential storm impacts, she said.

Forum participants are expected to include: Herman Andaya, administrator of the county Maui Emergency Management Agency; Chip Fletcher, professor with the University of Hawaii’s Department of Earth Sciences, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and vice chairman of the Honolulu Climate Change Commission; Fred Redell, county energy commissioner; Chris Reynolds, Maui Electric system operations director; Alex de Roode, founder and lead researcher with HiPER; and Carlos Villacis, director of applied science at the Pacific Disaster Center.

Amid numerous stakeholders involved Maui’s energy resilience, HiPER aims to serve as a convener and think tank, de Roode said.

“One of the primary goals of HiPER Comm is to facilitate island resiliency becoming a core consideration in all decisions we make here for our community, not just as an afterthought or secondary consideration but rather as an integrated key driver for decision-making,” he said.

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