Site Host Molokai Sea Farms, ground mount Solar through the Hawaii Community Based Renewable Energy (CBRE) program

neighborhood Molokai, Hawaii

Projected Capacity TBD

Total Number of Households Served 60 - 90, possibly more- TBD by the community

Developing Community Solar in Hawaii

Molokai Sea Farms, ground mount Solar through the Hawaii Community Based Renewable Energy (CBRE) program

Hawaii has some of the highest electricity costs in the nation, with residents paying nearly twice as much as the US average household for electricity and gas[1]. Rates fluctuate month by month on the islands;  Molokai families pay 34-46 cents per kWh for their electricity. In response, Hawaii’s legislature passed laws in 2015 creating the “Community-Based Renewable Energy” (CBRE) program, to bring costs down and help Hawaiian families meet the state’s goal for 100% renewable energy by 2045.

The Hawaii Public Service Commission defined rules for Phase 1 of the CBRE, and the Hawaiian Electric Companies have been making progress in implementing CBRE for each island. The program allows qualified organizations to build and operate community solar facilities to provide the benefits of clean energy to residential and commercial customers. Groundswell is proud to be one of the first entities approved as a Subscriber Organization to take part in this initiative. Groundswell’s “Molokai Share Power” project will be the first CBRE project in the state of Hawaii to serve residential, low- and moderate income ratepayers.

Community solar allows anyone to access renewable energy. Renters, families who live in multi-unit buildings, ratepayers who can’t afford upfront solar installation costs, or homeowners whose rooftops are shaded - more than half the households in the US - can still use clean solar energy through community solar. Through subscriptions to projects, participating customers receive monthly credits on their electricity bill, reducing their overall utility costs.

By teaming with local partners and residents on the island of Molokai, Groundswell will be developing a 250 kW ground-mount system that will produce solar electricity for residents in the area including low-income, or Empowered Households, who will receive substantial discounts on their community solar subscription.  Learn more about the Community-Based Renewable Energy program.

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[1] 2018 U.S. Energy Information Administration: Electricity prices are highest in Hawaii but expenditures are highest in South Carolina. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=34932.

The average Molokai family uses 374 kWh/month in electricity (a low amount), but pays more than $150 in fees and energy charges. Many Molokai families pay much more per month.

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