Nexamp takes very seriously the responsibility to be a good community partner, especially in Hawaii. The Nexamp team has thoroughly reviewed all the community meetings that Hawaiian Electric and the PUC have hosted to shape the Shared Solar Program. We have heard important concerns about land use, equity, and community engagement. We have considered these concerns in selecting our project site. We believe that the lessons we’ve learned across islands and projects are extremely valuable and applicable. The best community engagement will bring a combined perspective of the immediate community as well as broad concerns around the state.
Renewable Energy and Grid Stability
Currently, Maui relies on foreign oil for a majority of its fuel for the Kahului and Maalaea Power Plants which historically have experienced significant volatility in cost. The goal of the State of Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative is to be operating on 100% renewable energy by 2045. The Makawao Solar project will support Maui Island in its transition to a clean energy future.
The energy storage component of the project will increase the reliability of utility service by dispatching renewable generation when it is most needed and providing stored solar energy as a “backup generator.”
Savings for Subscribers
This project will directly benefit the community by allowing community members to enroll in the project and save money on their electric bills. Many homeowners, apartment and condominium owners, and renters cannot afford to install rooftop solar panels. Some older homes cannot structurally support rooftop solar installations for their overall energy needs. With the shared solar model, the community that hosts the project is the same community that benefits from subscribing to CBRE.
At Nexamp, we own and operate all our solar projects and manage every stage of the process from project development to design and construction, through financing, and to operations and maintenance. Nexamp also has more than 50,000 community solar customers and has successfully worked with subscribers to create a seamless and friendly customer experience.
Nexamp is responsible for all government permits and approvals, public hearings, and other opportunities for public comment. This information will help the community to understand the level of public scrutiny and participation that might occur for the Project and the opportunities to provide public comments.
The development process for the project includes many different steps. As a part of the process, Nexamp is committed to holding regular community meetings and providing regular updates on the project website.
Nexamp is committed to identifying communities that may be affected by the project. We know that construction has the potential to be disruptive to neighbors, and we recognize that certain sites can have special cultural significance. In order to be good community partners, our outreach plan includes community meetings to hear concerns so we can form mitigation plans. In addition, we will be meeting with any immediate project neighbors in order to coordinate the most low-impact construction process possible. We are working with a consultant to ensure that we fully understand any culturally significant aspects of the land and modify our design as needed to eliminate any negative impacts. As we conduct community outreach we will continuously and transparently report what we learn.
Nexamp is committed to using local labor at prevailing wages for construction and ongoing maintenance whenever possible. Nexamp has already established relationships with local contractors to make this commitment a reality.
Direct Contact: For more information, Mike Billet, Nexamp Director of Business Development 808.927.8848, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nexamp is committed to continuous and transparent communication with the community throughout the project development process and beyond. We are committed to the following outreach activities to ensure project success:
- Information sessions with Nexamp representatives virtually or in a public space.
- Project briefings with stakeholders in advance of community meetings.
- Media outreach and advertising to raise community awareness of any public meeting.
- Media advisories are to be issued to media and organizations a minimum of 30 days prior to a public meeting.
- Advertisements are to be placed in area community publications.
- Advertisements to be placed on Nexamp social media outlets: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn | News
- Public comments in support and in opposition to the proposed project will be posted on Nexamp’s website, compiled, and filed verbatim with the Public Utilities Commission.
- Inform neighboring communities and stakeholders to provide community members with timely information during ALL phases of the project including, but not limited to the Power Purchase Agreement negotiation period, the permitting process periods, and throughout construction.
Initial Public Community Outreach Meeting:
- Virtual meeting upon selection of the final award.
- Hosted by Nexamp’s Hawaii local representative.
- About Nexamp
- Community Solar 101
- Community and Project Benefits of shared-solar
- What makes community solar with Nexamp different
- Project description: preliminary site layout, permitting and construction schedules, educational and job training opportunities, community economic and environmental benefits.
- Community Feedback, concerns, questions
Communication Frequency and Format:
- Initial Public Community Outreach Meeting: Nexamp will do so prior to executed agreement with the utility.
- Quarterly Community Outreach Meetings: Nexamp will provide project updates and gather community feedback as the project progresses.
- Pre-Construction Meeting: Nexamp Project Manager and Site Supervisor will be on hand to describe the construction schedule, sequencing of operations, and Nexamp’s mitigation plans to minimize any potential noise, disruption, or traffic.
- Website: Nexamp will create a digital outreach platform that all community members can view for project updates. Beginning upon award through the lifecycle of the project, Nexamp will provide community updates on our website documenting daily progress and highlighting any major changes.
In addition to reviewing publicly available information from community meetings hosted by Hawaiian Electric and the PUC, Nexamp has engaged in conversations with community members and stakeholders. We have found that the community is generally supportive of this project, though awareness and understanding of the shared solar program are low. Nexamp takes community feedback seriously and has eliminated other projects from its portfolio in response to negative community feedback. While it is not directly connected to this project, we are particularly proud of our engagement with DHHL, which has provided a letter of support for our Makawao solar projects. In our many rounds of meetings with DHHL, they have indicated an interest in supporting enrollment in projects across the state, which we believe will benefit the Makawao Solar project.
Nexamp has been proactive in reaching out to community leaders across the state as well as leaders and organizations within the immediate community of the proposed project site. We will continue to engage the community throughout the project life cycle. Upon award selection, Nexamp will implement the Community Outreach Plan in consultation with Skog Rasmussen LLC, our Maui community outreach consultant. We will encourage residents and community leaders to be involved in the conversation surrounding community solar. Through robust community input and active listening, Nexamp will be able to develop the best possible project that suits the community’s needs.
Community solar brings power to the people. We’re aimed at democratizing clean energy and have eliminated credit checks, long-term contracts, and up-front costs to do so, ensuring our projects are always open to all. With community solar programs spreading across the country, renters, low-and-moderate-income individuals, and homeowners alike are now able to harness the sun’s power and place its benefits directly in their pockets.
The output and production of community solar farms or gardens are also generally more efficient than individually owned panels. Solar farms/gardens are typically located on wide swaths of land, free from obstructions. These ideal conditions mean the panels can receive the maximum amount of sunlight more often.
Community solar farms/gardens also provide greater flexibility to subscribers as they’re off-site and centralized. People can still benefit from them when moving to a new house, as long as it’s on the same island within the same utility’s service coverage.
Solar energy is taking over, whether oil kings like it or not. It’s far cheaper to produce, saves you money each month, and expedites U.S. energy independence. Don’t wait for clean power to come to you. Bring light to your community and become a beacon of hope for our world. The future is only ours if we support it.
Supports the Local Economy by giving a much-needed break to Low to Moderate Income Subscribers to help save on Hawai’i’s high energy costs. Priority subscriptions will be given to residents who live in the community where the project is located.
Low-To-Moderate Income Households
The Makawao Project will be dedicated to residential LMI Subscribers. A minimum of 60% of the Project’s capacity shall be reserved for residential LMI Customers.
Up to 40% of the Project’s capacity may be allocated to Non-Profit Entities, (LMI Anchor Tenants)
Supports Local Jobs:
LOCAL LABOR COMMITMENT - Nexamp is committed to using local labor at the prevailing wage for construction and ongoing maintenance whenever possible. Nexamp has already established relationships with local contractors to make this commitment a reality.
Clean Energy for our Keiki:
Leaving future generations, a cleaner, more resilient grid. The renewable energy facility will replace fossil fuel generation and protect the area from the greenhouse effect and sea level rise.
Nexamp has engaged in initial conversations with nearby landowners and community leaders. The initial feedback has been very positive as people became aware that shared solar provides an avenue to participate in the benefits of saving on electric bills without having to make a large investment in rooftop solar. Our early conversations yielded positive comments when we explained that the primary beneficiaries of CBRE will be low to moderate-income residents and non-profit entities.
We are committed to having open communication with the community as our project progresses and will track and log comments received. If concerns arise, we will address them and work with all parties in an open and transparent way. The more we listen and understand the priorities of the community, the more able we will be to tailor the project to their needs and aspirations.