News

Maui County Conference Explores the Future of Energy

April 11th, 2014 · Clean Energy, Renewable Energy

“The eyes of the nation are on Hawai‘i as a living laboratory.”

At the end of March, Maui hosted a conference–”Electric Utilities: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be.”

As Mayor Alan Arakawa said in his welcome address, electricity has become an important issue for Maui, as utility bills average $250, even though the island has an abundance of natural resources.

Together with the wind farms, solar has replaced a quarter of diesel-generated electricity, placing Maui Electric Company (MECO) at the forefront of an epochal, nationwide change.

The two-day conference at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center was the brainchild of Kihei’s Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) and the Mayor’s Office.

Read the full article at Maui Weekly

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Akaku Granted $5,000 to Support Youth Mentoring Program

April 11th, 2014 · Community, Education, Ke Alahele

akakuAkaku: Maui Community Television has been granted $5,000 for support of their successful Youth Broadband Education Awareness Mentoring (YBEAM) program from the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund ‘Building Pathways’.

“We are honored to be recognized by MEDB as being worthwhile of support,” explains Akaku Director of Education & YBEAM, Kat Tracy, “their dedication to STEM education is a monumental asset to Maui Nui youth! We are thrilled that they see the value of our innovative youth program, and this funding will enable us to expand and reach more youth.”

The YBEAM program was developed with a grant from ZeroDivide out of San Francisco via a federal BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunity Program) grant in 2011. YBEAM teaches youth how to produce short community stories using broadband technology in an all ‘mobile’ environment. Participants shoot, edit and distribute their content using Apple iPod Touches. Youth produced stories air on cable channel 55 and on www.mauitube.org. Other program goals include civic engagement, media literacy and Certification that enables stipend job opportunities. YBEAM is currently recruiting for itʻs summer programs. Applications are available at www.akaku.org.

For more information call Kat Tracy at (808) 871-5554 or visit www.akaku.org.

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Electric Utilities Conference Wrap-up

April 5th, 2014 · Clean Energy, Renewable Energy

Energy leaders agree Hawaii can lead changes in energy landscape. Maui conference participants impressed by open and frank discussions.

Conference presenters (l-r): Julia Hamm, President & CEO, Solar Electric Power Association; Alice Madden, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental and External Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy; and L Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capitalism Solutions

Conference presenters (l-r): Julia Hamm, President & CEO, Solar Electric Power Association; Alice Madden, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental and External Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy; and L Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capitalism Solutions

The buzz that came from the Maui energy conference was that the three-day conference of leading energy experts, industry leaders and activists was Hawaii’s “postcard to the future.”

“This doesn’t end here. It’s a beginning, not an end,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa, who delivered opening remarks. “We’re excited to see where all the conversations that began at this conference go, and how participants will take away what they’ve learned or shared and lead us into a bright, sustainable energy future.”

“The conference exceeded my expectations,” said Maui Economic Development Board President and Chief Executive Officer Jeanne Skog. “It’s now very clear that we all need to work together to find ways to overcome the challenges and make the most of opportunities available as our nation makes a transition from power generation from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

“We thank all of our outstanding speakers, our co-sponsors, exhibitors and everyone behind the scenes that helped make this a very successful event,” Skog said.

“Electric Utilities: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be” was held March 26 and 27, 2014, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Many of the conference participants spent the event’s third day on Friday touring the Kaheawa Wind Farm, hosted by First Wind; orienting themselves on the topic of “Energy Through Agriculture” at the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company field and factory; and learning about the Smart Grid Demonstration Project called JumpSMARTMaui, led by Hitachi Ltd. and NEDO.

The conference, presented by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Economic Development Board, featured more than 250 recognized policy-makers from state and federal government and the private sector. They talked openly and frankly about the country’s rapidly changing energy landscape and its implications for power utilities, policy-makers and consumers. At least half of the conference participants reside on Maui, and the other half traveled from the U.S. Mainland, Canada and Japan.

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Chair Hermina Morita delivered closing remarks.

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Chair Hermina Morita delivered closing remarks.

Program Committee member Jonathan Koehn said he was “incredibly impressed” by the recognition of the transformation taking place in utilities and a focus on opportunity and vision for the future. “It doesn’t matter where we’re starting from, it’s the evolution of the energy business model that is essential and we all can explore the opportunities together,” he said.

“These are the visionaries,” he said about the participating policy-makers, government leaders, legislators and top executives of the utilities and renewable energy companies. “To me it’s a great partnership and spectrum that came here,” said Koehn, the Regional Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Boulder, Colo.

Molokai businesswoman Barbara Haliniak, who serves as president of the Molokai Professional Women’s League, said she was initially skeptical about the conference and concerned that speakers and conversations would be of technical nature.

“I’m so glad it wasn’t so technical that I couldn’t understand,” she said. Her takeaway from the conference: “In order for the utilities and renewable energies to move forward, the entire community needs to engage in dialogue. That’s the only way you are going to get where you want to go. … You can’t be one-sided.”

Arlan Chun, senior vice president of development and construction for Pulama Lanai, said the conference was helpful for him and his organization’s goals in seeking sustainability for the people of Lanai. “I think it opens our eyes to some of the issues we’re going to be facing,” Chun said.

Steffes Corporation, a manufacturer in the oil industry, was one of about 20 exhibitors at the conference. Al Takle of Steffes Heating System said he found networking with the top leaders in energy policy and outlook to be most helpful at the conference. As far as the prospects of the future in energy, Takle said: “The rest of the world is watching the Hawaiian energy market as they navigate this transformational change.”

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MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund awards $90,000-plus in STEM grants

March 19th, 2014 · Ke Alahele, Ke Alahele 2014, STEM

(pictured left to right) Baldwin High Robotics team members Brandon Waite and Evan Grimes work on the chassis of their robot during the 2013 FIRST season.

(pictured left to right) Baldwin High Robotics team members Brandon Waite and Evan Grimes work on the chassis of their robot during the 2013 FIRST season.

Throughout Maui County, students and teachers are being empowered through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, thanks to the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund.

Recently, Maui Economic Development Board announced the list of 2013-2014 awardees receiving more than $90,000 in grants. Awards, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 each, were distributed this school year to expand STEM education and careers in Maui County.

“These grant funds are enabling local schools and organizations to create enriching STEM education programs,” said Ryan Churchill, MEDB Education Committee Chair. “Students and teachers gain important STEM skills, build confidence and obtain needed tools to help them succeed in education and prepare for their careers.”

This recent round of grants went to support Robotics teams, the Science Olympiad, equipment and software for digital media labs, kits for engineering technology programs, participation at the national digital media competition and other STEM-related projects.

Since 2007, over $740,000 in grants have been awarded thanks to generous individuals and businesses who recognize the value of investing in our youth who represent our economic future. The 2014 fundraising dinner will be held on Sat., Aug. 23 at the Grand Wailea Resort.

“Community supporters like MEDB are helping students on our Robotics team learn something new and strengthen our skills,” said Jasmine Feliciano, Maui High School’s Robotics Team co-captain‬‬. “Ultimately, we strive to be independent and motivated individuals who will be challenged, learn from our failures, and realize that we are all winners.”

For more information about the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund and the August 23rd Benefit Dinner & Auction, call 875-2300 or visit www.medb.org.

MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund Grant Awards (September 2013 – March 2014)

Baldwin High School Fund the Future Sponsorship: Robotics – $5,000

Support Baldwin High School Robotics Team’s 2013-14 season, which includes robot programming, design, building, competition, and publicity.

Maui High School Fund the Future Sponsorship: Robotics – $5,000

Support Maui High School Robotics Team’s 2013-14 season which includes robot programming, design, building, competition, and publicity.

Baldwin High School – $4,000

Continue to support Baldwin High’s 4th season of VEX robotics program and competition participation.

Kualapu`u Charter School – $1,914

Restart Kualapu`u Charter School’s competitive robotics team after a one year hiatus and participate in the 2013 FIRST Lego League Robotics competition.

Kaunakakai Elementary School – $1,618.46

Support the school’s extracurricular robotics program and allow students to participate in the 2013 FIRST Lego League Robotics competition.

Molokai Middle School – $2,015.97

Funding will help state champion robotics team compete in regional robotics tournaments. Robotics has exposed Molokai Middle School to first-time STEM opportunities and skills.

King Kekaulike High School – $3,880

Continue the VEX Robotics program at King Kekaulike, giving interested students the opportunity to explore various STEM pathways through competition and skill development.

Seabury Hall – $2,558

Award allows Seabury Hall to form its first Hawaii State Science Olympiad team and enhance the school’s STEM curriculum through team learning and competition.

Maui Waena Media Club – $4,691.69

Augment the middle school’s media club with three new Apple MacBooks designated for digital media training and competition.

Kihei Charter Middle School – $2,364

Help students struggling in math by offering new education applications and unique learning platforms through the purchase of 12 tablet computers.

Pukalani Elementary School – $4,945

Supplement an engineering, project-based curriculum that encourages classrooms to integrate and expand STEM concepts across disciplines through “STREAM” (STEM + reading and arts).

Kalama Intermediate School – $5,000

Help eighth grade students learn and practice the skills required for 21st century citizens through “Hui Ho`okele,” problem-based STEM units taught quarterly.

Kaunakakai Elementary School – $5,000

Enable 5th graders to participate in “weXplore,” an initiative to promote college and career readiness through a variety of inquiry-based STEM projects in the classroom, including bridge building, electrical boards and circuitry, computer-aided design (CAD), computer technologies, robotics, and flight and space exploration.

Hawaii State Science Olympiad – $1,000

Sponsor Hawaii State Science Olympiad (HSSO), a “hands-on, minds-on” team-based science program for K-12 public, private, charter, and home schools across the state. HSSO is a science-education non-profit organization associated with the National Science Olympiad program.

Kihei Charter High School – $1,250

Fund the purchase of 20 “SparkFun” Inventor Kits which teaches the basic concepts of electronic circuitry, introduces electronics and programming careers, and primes interested students for entry into the Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology program at University of Hawaii Maui College.

Molokai High School – $2,053.45

Build capacity for the VEX Robotics Club through mentoring middle school students and fund competition at the Valley Isle VEX Tournament.

Kihei Charter Middle School – $4,000

Allow students to produce a modeled solution using “Autodesk Inventor” software and an in-house 3D printer. Local STEM professionals provide guidance and support in the engineering design process.

Maui High School – $5,000

Continue to support Maui High School’s ten-year robotics program by funding participation in the FIRST Robotics competition and their community outreach efforts.

Lokelani Intermediate School – $4,000

Fund the school’s robotics program which has over 200 students participating in three different tournaments. The program partners with mentors from the Maui High Robotics Club to build skills and confidence.

Maui High School Fund the Future Sponsorship: Digital Media – $5,000

Help offset expenses for sixteen students and two teachers to attend the 2014 Student Television Network convention to learn about new communication technologies, creative media, and broadcast journalism.

Montessori School of Maui – $5,000

Expand the school’s newly launched robotics program and enhance STEM curriculum.

Lahainaluna High School Fund the Future Sponsorship: Digital Media – $5,000

Update and expand the school’s digital media lab with the purchase of iMac computers and “Final Cut Pro X” video editing software.

Maui Waena Intermediate School – $5,000

Allow more than 25 robotics student participants to compete in the state Botball tournament.

PBS Hawaii – $5,000

Support HIKI NO, a PBS Hawaii learning initiative that trains students in digital media, communications, broadcast journalism, STEM, and 21st-century workforce skills in a professional setting. Student-produced HIKI NO episodes are broadcast weekly on PBS Hawaii.

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A Sixty Year Timeline of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site (AMOS)

March 13th, 2014 · AMOS

AMOS-TimelinFor over 60 years, the present-day Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site (AMOS) has provided the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) with space situational awareness capabilities from the island of Maui, Hawaii.

The Rand Corporation recently announced the publication of A Sixty-Year Timeline of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site, by Megan Clifford, Dave Baiocchi, and William Welser IV.

This document contains a timeline of key events in the history of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site. Since it was built in the 1950s, the site’s mission, management structure, and operational partners have changed several times to accommodate the contemporary challenges and research tools. This timeline documents some of these historical changes.

Download Sixty-Year Timeline of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site

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Maui County Conference Explores Energy Landscape Changes

February 20th, 2014 · Clean Energy, Renewable Energy

Energy-Conf-Featured

Come join us for a thoughtful discussion on The Electric Utility of the Future in Maui, Hawai‘i, March 26-28, 2014.

County of Maui in partnership with the Maui Economic Development Board Inc. present

“Electric Utilities: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be”

Developing the Blueprint for the Utility of the Future

In the next five years, energy utilities will experience more change than they’ve seen in the past century. Delivering safe and reliable energy will continue to form the bedrock of what utilities will do, but the modern utility must expand its vision and adapt to changing circumstances in order to meet the demands of customers, communities and shareholders. Nowhere is this more urgent than in Hawaii, with transformation to clean energy underway by our electric utilities.

A visit to Maui is an opportunity to see future issues for the electric grid in your state. Our isolated island grid has been experiencing rapid growth in clean energy generation. Residents and consumers look at energy and their relationship with the utility differently. This conference will bring together a number of diverse and unique perspectives to explore the key drivers facing the industry, both here and overseas, including:

  • The “traditional utility” structure: What does it look like, and why does it face unprecedented challenges?
  • What are the key drivers that are shifting the energy paradigm?
  • Do ownership structures such as coops or municipal utilities better serve our needs?
  • How do you achieve a mix of clean energy to the satisfaction of all stakeholders?
  • What will future electric consumers want and expect from their electric utility?
  • Who should lead the transformation, and who should be part of the dialogue?
  • What are the key elements of a 21st century energy utility business model?

A limited number of Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Learn more at www.hightechmaui.com/energyconference/.

PARTNERS

Hawaiian Electric Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Maui Economic Development Board Mayor’s Office of Economic Development

 

Keynote presentations by:

Binz     

Ron Binz, Former Chief, Colorado Public Utilities Commission
Constance Lau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI)

Conference Announcement              Program
Conference Announcement                             Program Screenshot

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Maui Food Technology Center’s 1st Annual Supply and Service Expo set for February 26, 2014

February 14th, 2014 · Community

MFTC

“Fresh! Fresh! Fresh!” is Makena Resort Executive Chef Mark McDowell’s mantra. During the MFTC Expo on Feb. 26th, he’ll share his insights into developing local products from start to finish.

“Fresh! Fresh! Fresh!” is Makena Resort Executive Chef Mark McDowell’s mantra. During the MFTC Expo on Feb. 26th, he’ll share his insights into developing local products from start to finish.

On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Maui Food Technology Center will hold their 1st Annual Supply and Service Expo at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani from 10 am to 3 pm.

This is the perfect opportunity for new or existing food producers wanting assistance with the many challenges of developing a product and getting it into the marketplace, entrepreneurs planning to expand their network opportunities and resources, and consumers interested in attending the tradeshow and hearing the latest from experts in the food manufacturing, distribution and hospitality industries.

A tradeshow comprised of national, state and local service providers will feature manufacturers and distributors of food, ingredients, equipment and packaging supplies; dealers, brokers and traders; business services and educational groups that work with the food and hospitality industries. Entrepreneurs and existing businesses will also have an opportunity to network with brand identity and marketing industry professionals.

Specialized presentations will be held throughout the event. Featured speakers include: Dr. Aurora Saulo, Professor and Extension Specialist in Food Technology with the University of Hawaii Maui College on “Food Safety Certified: What Does That Mean?”; Marc McDowell, Executive Chef of Makena Resort on “Developing Local Products From Start To Finish”; Marty Parisien, Co-Owner/CEO at Singing Dog Vanilla on “Social Media Zen”, and Mike Abrams, President of Flavor Waves, on “Get Out There, Make Friends, and Help People.”

Door prizes will be drawn throughout the event, must be present to win. Attendees are also eligible to win a 32 GB i-Pad Mini, need not be present to win. The first 100 people will receive a free Expo tote. Public admission is free.

Dr. Aurora Saulo, Professor and Extension Specialist in Food Technology with the University of Hawaii Maui College, will help attendees understand what Food Safety Certified means.

Dr. Aurora Saulo, Professor and Extension Specialist in Food Technology with the University of Hawaii Maui College, will help attendees understand what Food Safety Certified means.

Major event sponsors include: County of Maui Office of Economic Development, Fred Baldwin Memorial Fund, and Tri-Isle Resource Conservation and Development.

For more information on becoming an exhibitor and/or attending the Supply and Service Expo, visit www.MauiFoodTechnology.org or call 888-948-6382.

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Maui Time-Lapse Video Spotlights Hawaiian Air Force Base That Tracks Satellites

December 2nd, 2013 · AMOS, Technology

The Maui Space Surveillance Complex, which belongs to Air Force Space Command, is home to several telescopes that track objects orbiting the earth, such as satellites and space debris. The complex is located 10,000 feet above sea level on top of Haleakala, a dormant volcano on the island, that is also considered one of the best places on Earth to view space from. This time lapse sequence was captured over a three-day period by a team from Airman magazine, the U.S. Air Force’s official publication.

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Maui to Welcome Nationally Recognized Energy Policy Leaders at Energy Conference

November 20th, 2013 · Clean Energy, Science, Technology

Electric-Utilities-Logo

“Electric Utilities: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be” will be held March 26-28, 2014, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Conference organizers have confirmed keynote presentations from Constance Lau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) , and Ron Binz, former chief of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The conference will welcome nationally recognized energy policy leaders and businesses to talk openly and frankly about the country’s rapidly changing energy landscape and its implications for power utilities, policymakers and consumers.

Constance Lau

Constance Lau

“Maui is an ideal location for this conference,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We are on the cutting edge of renewable energy growth, but we’re also experiencing some growing pains. In a few short years, we now have 5,000 PV systems on island of 150,000 people, we have three wind farms now feeding power into the island’s electric grid, but our residents do not feel that the benefits and costs of renewable energy are allocated in a way that is sustainable.”

“Our goal in this conference is to gather those most knowledgeable about new models and new ways of thinking about how you provide electricity to the public,” Mayor Arakawa said. “Together, we can find answers that truly benefit our island community, allowing utilities to provide reliable power service while treating ratepayers fairly and equitably.”

Ron Binz, former chief of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission

Ron Binz

“The Maui Economic Development Board is pleased to partner in this event that will draw some of the best minds in this important topic,” MEDB President and CEO Jeanne Skog said. “As Maui County continues to move aggressively toward clean energy goals, this dialogue will contribute to creating new template for how utilities best serve our residents.”

Conference partners include Hawaiian Electric, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, the Maui Economic Development Board and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. The conference registration fee is $395. Limited sponsorship opportunities range from $500 to $25,000. To learn more, go to www.hightechmaui.com/energyconference.

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Giant Traveling Map of Pacific Comes to Hawaii

November 12th, 2013 · Education, Women in Technology

Originally posted on Women in Technology website.

HI-HouseWMHawaii Students will dive into the wonders of the Pacific Ocean with one of the world’s largest maps of the world’s largest ocean. The map, measuring 26 feet by 35 feet, will give these student explorers a fun, interactive experience through rich content and exciting activities that enliven the study of geography.

Through a partnership between MEDB’s Women in Technology (WIT), Hawaii Geographic Alliance (HGA), and the Hawaii Geographic Information Coordinating Council (HIGICC) the map will be on loan to Hawaii schools from October 15 – December 20, 2013 through National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program, managed by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society. The Pacific Ocean maps and curriculum were developed and funded by two $1 million Oracle Commitment Grants, awarded to National Geographic.

Read the full article at WomeninTech.com.

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