Supporting Hawai’i’s clean-energy future

How DSD helped Mauna Loa integrate a new solar portfolio into existing sustainable processes to offset 100% of their facility’s energy use.

CASE STUDY

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Finance Mechanism

The Challenge

When people think macadamia nuts, they think Mauna Loa. The brand is not just the leader in its space, it’s also a leader in environmental sustainability practices. Usually, macadamia nut production is considered moderately sustainable due to its high water footprint. However, Mauna Loa’s Hawaiian crop of macadamias are grown with rainwater, making their product one of the most sustainable nut varieties.

So, when Hawaiian Host Group — Mauna Loa’s parent company — looked to further reduce its carbon footprint and help ensure the Islands’ clean-energy future, second-best wasn’t going to cut it. To that end, they sought to develop the largest operating PV project dedicated to a private company in Hawai‘i. That would require commercial solar energy partners with standards as high as theirs. Partners like DSD.

Muana Loa DSD
Muana Loa DSD

The Execution

From the start, the teams knew that integration and synergy would be key. Mauna Loa already had sustainable practices and systems in place — so the question was how to best leverage them, and integrate the right technological additions. The DSD team partnered with local No Ka Oi Energy to develop a 2,916-panels ground mount system laid out across three acres on the nut farm.

The Solution

The completed 1.2 MW solar array — matched with 500 kW of battery storage — has the capacity to directly power 85% of Mauna Loa’s processing plant. Along with the on-site water and wastewater system, the facility in Kea‘au, Hawai’i, is now powered by 100% renewables. The system generates 1.55 million kWh of solar energy annually, avoiding over 1,000 tons of CO2 each year (equivalent).

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MaunaLoa_ceremony
Brooklyn Neighborhood

DSD / No Ka Oi Energy 1.2 MW Ground Mount 

The Outcome

The new solar system — along with existing clean energy sources — powers the Kea‘au facility with 100% renewables.

The Impact

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“DSD’s design and implementation have created a world-class solar installation right here in Kea‘au. We are proud to be working toward increasing clean, renewable energy at such an important site on our island.”

Glenn YamasakiGlenn Yamasaki
President
No Ka Oi Energy

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