The Maui News - Lowering customer bills, pushing toward a clean energy future, modernizing the existing power grid and creating fairness for all customers were the four priorities that Maui Electric Co. officials discussed at their Integrated Resource Planning public meeting last week.
The meeting was held as part of a yearlong process to gather public comment on a draft five-year action plan for the utility to meet future energy needs and identify what resources it will need to do so, according to company officials.
MECO Chief Executive Officer Sharon Suzuki presented a broad overview of both short-term actions that the utility plans on exploring within the next five years as well as long-range planning of possible renewable energy initiatives over the next 20 years.
Utility officials said that they are "definitely planning" on shutting down the Kahului plant by 2019. However, to continue meeting Central Maui's energy needs, the utility must first upgrade and reinforce existing power grids--particularly, a 69-kilovolt transmission line from Wai'inu to Kanaha.
The full report, with more detailed figures, will be online and available for public comment at the end of the month. Public comments should be sent to email@example.com. Testimony should include a person's name, the date and island of residency.