03.23.2022

Moloka‘i Clean Energy Cooperative Selected To Receive Federal Support

Department Of Energy To Provide Expert Assistance To Support Moloka‘i’s Community-Developed Clean Energy Goals; Clean Energy Co-op In Running To Compete For Additional Federal Resources

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that Ho‘āhu Energy Cooperative Moloka‘i, a local group developing Moloka‘i’s first community-owned renewable energy resource project, will receive federal support, including technical assistance, from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“This kind of hands-on federal support will help us expand clean energy production on Moloka‘i as the community moves to take its energy future into its own hands. That means more jobs, more reliable energy, and cheaper electric bills for Moloka‘i residents,” said Senator Schatz.

Ho‘āhu Energy Cooperative Moloka‘i will receive tailored expert support from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a DOE National Lab, to address the island’s unique energy challenges. During this first phase of the initiative, Ho‘āhu Energy Cooperative Moloka‘i will receive one-on-one assistance from PNNL, including training, energy and economic analysis, workforce and equity assessments, and grant application assistance. The program also aims to help participating communities develop a network of experts that can serve as a valuable resource even after the technical assistance phase ends. Technical assistance will take place over a ten-month timeframe extending to the end of 2022. After that, Ho‘āhu Energy Cooperative Moloka‘i may advance to a second phase of assistance, which will involve engineering and budgetary guidance and other technical support for project deployment.

“Molokai, which is 60 percent Hawaiian by population, is challenged with energy rates nearly 400 percent higher than the national average,” said Todd Yamashita, president of Ho‘āhu Energy Cooperative Moloka‘i. “We are excited about this opportunity because it’s helping us create, on our own terms, an energy future that is reflective of the resilient and resourceful nature of our people.”

The federal support is part of a DOE initiative designed to support communities that experience problems with their energy systems. It aims to mitigate energy access, affordability, and reliability challenges by helping those communities design energy storage solutions.