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Roots Run Deep

Our roots in these islands run deep and our commitment to the future is strong. Our Logo

Maui Electric History

The demand for power that has fueled the growth of the Hawaiian Islands has been met by us for well over a century. And as the next millennium unfolds, we are committed to providing quality service and seeking clean local energy sources to power generations of Hawaii families and businesses to come.

1881: From Plantations to Power

  • Claus Spreckels demonstrated the first electric lights on Maui at Spreckelsville Mill in 1881.
  • The Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, HC&S - founded by Claus Spreckels- installed the first oil-fired power plant in Hawaii to serve the Puunene Mill in 1907.
  • Island Investment Company formed the Island Electric Company to provide Wailuku town with electricity in 1911. The company folded in 1919.

1921: The Birth of Maui Electric Company

  • Maui Electric Company, Ltd. was established in 1921.
  • Maui extended service to Paia, Haiku, Hula, and Makawao in 1933.

1942: The War Years

  • Nearly half of the power HC&S generated was delivered to the military by Maui Electric to support wartime power requirements in 1942.
  • Maui Electric built its first power plant in Kahului in 1948.

1950: The Boom Years

  • Maui Electric expanded its Kahului power plant by adding a 12,000-kv unit in 1954.
  • Maui Electric extended along radial 23-kv transmission feeder up the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala in 1955.
  • Maui Electric built a 69-kv transmission line from Kahului to Lahaina in 1957.

1963: Expansion of Service

  • Hana Light & Power merged with Maui Electric in 1964.
  • Maui Electric took over Lahaina Light & Power from Pioneer Mill making it an island-wide utility in 1967.
  • Maui Electric joined Hawaiian Electric Company in 1968.

1971: Electrifying Maui County

  • Maui Electric purchases Lanai’s distribution system in 1954.
  • Maalaea plant is built in 1971.
  • Maui Electric purchased two high speed diesel generators from the Central Intelligence Agency facility in 1986.
  • Maui Electric acquired Lanai City Power Plant on Lanai in 1988.
  • Maui Electric acquired Molokai Electric Company in 1989.

1990: Growth Continues

  • The opening of several resort hotels, including the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Wailea, help Maui Electric’s kilowatt hour sales rise in the early 1990s.
  • A 15-mile transmission line from Maalaea to Kula is energized in 1994.

1998: Powering Our Communities

  • Maui Electric completed a new 20-megawatt combustion turbine at Maalaea plant in 1998.
  • Maui Community College honored Maui Electric as "Community Partner of the Year" in 2001.
  • Maui Electric received over $1 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture funds to help fund solar for rural families on Molokai in 2003.

2004: Building Energy Through Partnerships

  • Maui Electric signed an agreement to buy power from a 30-megawatt wind farm at Kaheawa Pastures in 2004.
  • In 2006, Kaheawa Wind Partners new 30-megawatt wind farm on Maui became Hawaii's largest wind farm to date.
  • Maui Electric provided Lanai residents with energy from the largest single-site solar farm in Hawaii, La Ola Solar Farm in 2009.

2012: Our Clean Energy Future

  • The Auwahi Wind and Kaheawa Wind II 21-megawatt wind farms began commercial operation in 2012.
  • In 2012, The Solar Electric Power Association recognized Hawaii’s utilities as national leaders in integrating renewable solar energy. Maui Electric ranked 6th among utilities nationally for adding new solar power on a per customer basis.
  • Two of four oil-fired units at Kahului Power Plant were deactivated in 2014 due to the increased amount of renewable energy for generation and more efficient and declining electricity use by customers.
  • In 2016, Maui Electric ranks 8th among nation’s top utilities for connecting the most solar watts per customer to the grid.
  • In 2018 the 2.87 MW Kuia Solar in West Maui and 2.87 MW South Maui Renewable on Haleakala Ranch came online, adding to Maui County’s renewable energy portfolio.
  • In 2019, Maui County achieved 41 percent RPS with the mix of solar, wind and biofuels, up from 38 percent in 2018.
  • Hawaiian Electric Company named 2019 “Utility of the Year” by Utility Dive, a leading energy industry publication.