Holu Energy LLC, a full-service solar energy company serving Hawaii and the Pacific region, launched a 250-kilowatt photovoltaic system for Kahumana, a nonprofit farm and community organization that services homeless families, people with disabilities and youth in the Oahu region. Through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA), the savings will allow Kahumana to provide 40 additional beds in transitional housing for the homeless.
"Sustainability is at the heart of our mission at Kahumana; our goal is to build community by connecting our residents and participants to the land," said Tom McDonald, executive director of the organization, which houses an organic farm and offers vocational training and transitional housing for vulnerable populations. "This power purchase agreement furthers our mission by allowing us to run on clean energy and redirect funds to expand our offerings and services."
The installation could not have been completed without the Hawaii Electric Company's (HECO's) work to upgrade area infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of distributed energy resources (DERs) and connect them to the utility's grid.
"HECO is to be commended for its leadership," said Ted Peck, CEO of Holu. "Kahumana is one of many organizations and businesses that will enjoy the benefits of switching to clean energy. HECO's upgrades to their circuit enabled many in this area to add behind-the-meter photovoltaic renewables connected to the HECO grid. Kahumana is an example of the custom solutions that we develop for our customers in Hawaii, and we're happy to help them deliver on their essential mission of taking care of the needy families in our community."
The system was installed by Kamaaina Solar Systems and is owned by local area developer Norman Gentry.
"We're honored to bring this win-win solution to Kahumana," Gentry said. "Our partners Holu and EnSync Energy are leaders in delivering diverse, customized energy projects to Hawaii. The result is significant savings in energy costs for an organization dedicated to helping the people of the island."
The Kahumana solar project builds on EnSync Energy's momentum in Hawaii as a leading DER provider. Earlier this year, EnSync Energy announced that it has contracted 20 commercial projects in the state, which will account for more than $20 million in electricity sales over the terms of the agreements.
Founded in 1974, Kahumana is a community of five campuses over 50 acres in Oahu, whose mission is to co-create a healthy, inclusive and productive farm-based community with homeless families, people with disabilities and youth. Kahumana aspires to celebrate the bounty of Hawaii's natural and cultural environment while also helping to address some of her most pressing needs.