Our Story

Roots Run Deep

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

History and Timeline

Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries provide electricity and services to 95 percent of the state's 1.4 million residents. The company is also one of the state's leading employers and a major contributor and supporter of community and educational programs.

The demand for power that has fueled the growth of the Hawaiian Islands has been met by Hawaiian Electric for well over a century. And as the next millennium unfolds, the company is 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

  • A new main office was built in Kahului in 1963.
  • Hana Light & Power merged with Maui Electric in 1964.
  • Maui Electric energized its new 23-kv, 41-mile Hana transmission circuit in 1964.
  • Maui Electric added 14,000-kv unit to its Kahului Power Plant in 1966.
  • 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

  • Maalaea plant is built in 1971.
  • Maui Electric reaches on agreement with Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company for the purchase of bagasse electric energy equaling approximately 10 percent of Maui Electric's needs, 1980.

1985: Operational Highlights

  • A new system, the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, to monitor and control the distribution of power on Maui came into operation at mid-year and increased the reliability of service to customers, 1985.
  • With load demand building steadily on Maui, the company purchased two high speed diesel generators from the Central Intelligence Agency facility in Langley, Virginia, 1986.
  • Maui Electric contracted with CH2M Hill consulting firm to digitize its transmission and distribution maps, 1987.
  • Maui Electric acquired Lanai City Power Plant on Lanai in 1988.
  • Maui Electric acquired Molokai Electric Company in 1989.

1990: Growth Continues

  • The Grand Hyatt Hotel at Wailea entered the grid. The 800-room resort was Maui Electric's largest single customer in 1990.
  • Excluding an adjustment to unbilled revenues, Maui Electric's kilowatt hour sales were up 6% in 1991 from 1990 levels, in part due to the opening of three resort hotels on Maui.
  • In 1994, a 15 mile, 69-kv transmission line increased the capacity and enhanced reliable service to Maui utility customers. The project from Maalaea to Kula includes a switching station that will be built in 1995 on the slopes of Haleakala.

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

  • Auwahi Wind, a 21 megawatt wind farm began commercial operation in 2012.
  • Kaheawa Wind II, a 21 megawatt wind farm began commercial operation in 2012.
  • 1.2 megawatt La Ola Solar Farm reaches full capacity, 2012.
  • Maui Electric, along with Hawaiian Electric Company, among nation's top utilities for solar power, 2012.
  • Maui Electric makes operational improvements to use more wind energy, 2013.