Renewable energy forum is scheduled for June 26

The Maui News

Officials with Maui Electric Co., Maui Tomorrow and the Sierra Club believe that Maui eventually can be powered by 100 percent renewables and will be discussing how to get there from 6 to 7:30 p.m. June 26 at the J. Walter Cameron Center Auditorium.

“Achieving the ambitious mark of 100 percent renewables by 2045 will require all of us working together,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui County and Hawaii island utilities. “As Maui Electric starts to put more bids out to procure more renewable energy projects for the island it will take informed energy developers, available land resources, and ongoing dialogue with our communities, regulators and government leaders.”

Renewable energy production on Maui reached 38 percent in 2018, exceeding the state’s goal of 30 percent renewables by 2020, the news release from MECO said. This involved private rooftop and utility-scale solar and wind power and biofuels.

The panelists at the event titled “100% Renewable Energy: What Will Maui Look Like?” will share their perspectives on working toward clean energy for Maui.

They include kumu Kaponoai Molitau; Albert Perez, executive director of Maui Tomorrow; Jennifer Potter, commissioner for Hawaii Public Utilities Commission; Chris Reynolds, director of system operations at MECO; Alex de Roode, energy commissioner for Maui County; Dana Sato, director of asset management and community engagement and resources at Kamehameha Schools; and Rob Weltman, president of the Sierra Club.

“Maui can and must be powered by carbon-neutral, local, environmentally friendly technologies, including solar and wind,” Weltman said. “Contributing to sea level rise and extreme weather events through continued dependence on fossil fuels is not an option for our vulnerable island community.”

There will be light refreshments at 5:30 p.m. prior to the community forum, which is free and open to the public.

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