The Kualapuʻu Community-Based Renewable Energy Project and Palaʻau Community in Molokai, Hawaii are spearheading the way in renewable energy initiatives. Hoʻāhu's first step was to create proposals for solar energy and storage projects to submit to Hawaiian Electric's Request for Proposals (RFP) on Community-Based Renewable Energy (CBRE). Subscribers are customers of the same electric company who agree to pay a portion of the production of the subscribing organization's renewable energy project. An example of this is Ho'ahu Energy Cooperative, Molokai's first community-based renewable energy project. Hoahu's community-based renewable energy projects, Palaau Solar and Kualapuu Solar, will be the first on the island to offer the shared solar energy program (also known as community renewable energy or CBRE) to help reduce electricity bills for Molokai customers who are unable to install solar energy on their own rooftops.
To ensure a reliable source of energy, Hawaiian Electric is providing technical support to the Molokai Clean Energy Hui in its planning process to develop a portfolio of clean energy projects that will achieve 100% renewable energy for the island. Hawaiian Electric currently has four requests for proposals (RFPs) to identify new opportunities for renewable energy projects on the island of Hawaii. Hawaiian Electric and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have identified locations on the islands with the right technical conditions for future renewable resources. To stabilize costs, Hawaiian Electric is signing power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable energy suppliers. Hoahu's community ownership is made possible by mission-aligned funding partners such as the People's Solar Energy Fund, the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, and the Ulupono Initiative. These organizations have provided funding or letters of intent for the project. Hawaiian Electric takes into consideration potential environmental impacts when designing projects.
They use land that is already urbanized when possible and select non-toxic materials and equipment.