Greentech Renewables and CED aid in Maui fire relief efforts
The aftermath of the wildfire that devastated the town of Lahaina endures. Thousands of Maui residents are displaced, staying in hotels, rentals, and community relief sites. Greentech Renewables Hawaii has devoted considerable renewable energy and financial resources to aid in disaster relief. We have been working closely with the incredible Footprint Project organization to install solar and storage relief sites to meet the crucial energy needs of those most affected by the wildfire. Often in partnership with non-profit organizations, government agencies, and industry partners, the Footprint Project aims to improve the energy infrastructure of vulnerable communities throughout the US and grants disaster relief to those afflicted by natural disasters.
"Our mission of providing cleaner energy to communities in crisis found an incredible partner in Greentech Renewables. Their support, coordination, and industry expertise brought our Maui wildfire response to the next level and most importantly, brought much-needed help to the community. Greentech Renewables has gone above and beyond for their community, and we are incredibly grateful for their partnership." - Jamie Swezey, Footprint Project Program Director
In conjunction with the Footprint Project, we worked to power community relief sites with clean energy projects. Napili Park and Pohaku Beach were two major sites that required substantial time and attention, as they were formerly powered by gas generators that emitted harmful odors and disruptive noise. A large (9.8kW PV, 27.2kWh storage) microgrid was installed at Napili Park to generate power for tools, appliances, lighting, and devices and supply Wi-Fi to the area. Displaced people can also access meal distribution, medical services, childcare, and counseling at this site. We faced challenges with powering a 40' refrigerated container that is now powered by a (24kW PV, 93kWh storage) microgrid. Similarly, a large (6.4kW PV, 27.2kWh storage) microgrid was installed at Pohaku Beach Park to meet emergency energy needs and power medical services, meal distribution, and mental health services for the nearby housing location. Greentech Renewables Hawaii Manager Ben McCormick was interviewed by KHON2 Working for Hawaii to highlight the positive impact of these projects on the community and paving the way for the future of disaster response.
A pocket of community leaders and taro farmers living off-grid in the Kaua'ula Valley, formerly powered by gas generators, now use solar + battery-powered systems for basic needs like refrigeration and homeschooling for children affected by the fire. An additional solar microgrid at Pukalani Church of Nazarene offers critical access to clean drinking water. As of October 4, 15 microgrids, 90kW of solar, and 350kWh of storage have been deployed. These efforts were made possible with the support of QCells, Enphase, Tesla, Sol-Ark, Fortress Power, and PowerFields. SunRun, Rising Sun Solar, and Jackson Electric provided essential installation services. We are grateful for our valued partnerships with clean energy advocates throughout the industry. While these sites serve the immediate needs of the Maui people, long-term recovery plans are still being evaluated by local organizations and government agencies.
Financial resources include a $500,000 donation from Greentech Renewables and Consolidated Electrical Distributors to the Maui Strong Fund in collaboration with the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF). HCF is committed to creating a better Hawaii through advocacy and equity endeavors. The foundation works with community leaders and various organizations to provide disaster response and recovery efforts motivated by their unwavering dedication to the people of Hawaii. The donation will support continuous financial relief to those in need.
On September 6, Greentech Renewables Hawaii Manager Ben McCormick, CED Maui Manager Chris Kamakeeaina, and CED Honolulu Manager James Ottomeyer presented the donation checks to HCF Vice President of Community Partnership and Public Affairs Todd Apo, Vice President of Philanthropy Mary Leong Saunders, and Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Wally Chin at the Honolulu headquarters of the Hawaii Community Foundation.
“Our leadership understood the scale of this disaster and wanted to make an impactful donation to the local community. By partnering with Hawaii Community Foundation and donating to the Maui Strong Fund, we know our donations will directly support the people of Maui.” - Ben McCormick, Greentech Renewables Hawaii Manager
Amidst recovery efforts, there has been an emphasis on the need for clean energy solutions to reduce vulnerability to wildfire in Hawaii. Solar power has served as a viable and necessary energy alternative to provide ongoing disaster relief. Our commitment to providing innovative renewable energy solutions affords us the ability to utilize our resources in support of future energy needs and recovery. For more information, please view the press releases below.