Maui Business

Keynotes Announced for 2017 Maui Energy Conference

January 26, 2017, 4:09 PM HST
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Maui Energy Conference. Courtesy photo.

This year’s Maui Energy Conference will be held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, March 22-23. Hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Economic Development Board the conference theme covers a broader range of topics from electricity and gas to transportation and water delivery systems.

Keynote speaker, Guillermo “Gil” Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people. He is the founder and Chair of the Board of 8 80 Cities, an internationally recognized non-profit organization based in Canada that was created on the philosophy that if you created a great city for an 8 year old and an 80 year old, you will create a successful city for all people.

Penalosa is also chair of World Urban Parks, as well as senior advisor to Children & Nature, Vision Zero Network, and America Walks. His leadership and advice has been sought out in more than 250 different cities across six continents. He advises decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of age, gender and social, economic, or ethnic background.

“While urban design might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the Maui Energy Conference,” says Conference Program Committee member, Jonathan Koehn, “Urban design dictates lifestyle, and lifestyle has a huge impact on people’s energy footprint. There are so many ways that the physical infrastructure around us influences our energy choices.”

Another draw for this year’s Conference will be Carol Sim, Environmental Affairs Director at Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines has been a leader in the airline industry in utilizing alternative jet fuel. It made history in November flying the world’s first commercial flight using a new sustainable alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals.


Sim will join the panel on Innovations in Transportation, which takes a look at what steps can be taken to create and facilitate a resilient transportation sector.


A new feature for the program will include a number of Case Studies presented in special 15 minute segments. Boris von Bormann of Mercedes-Benz will share their work with the world’s largest second use battery storage. In efforts to stabilize the grid, Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC have joined forces to develop a 13 MWh battery storage project in Germany using a total of 1000 battery systems from second-generation smart fortwo electric drive cars.

Hawaiʻi Energy’s case study will highlight a few of their success stories that showcase their commitment to helping small businesses of Hawaiʻi lower operating costs through energy efficiency. Theodore Peck from Holu Energy will present two case studies of commercial on- grid microgrids operational in Hawaiʻi with third party ownership, integrating PV and energy storage systems to create multiple value streams on both sides of the meter.

In a fourth case study presentation, Silver Spring Networks will share details on how its utility customers deliver savings to consumers via AMI and Smart Grid deployments.


Organizers say the 2017 Maui Energy Conference is shaping up to be a timely and innovative forum as Hawaiʻi transitions to a clean energy economy. Early Bird registration ends on Jan. 31.

For information on the full program, how to register and other details, visit:

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