By Nina Wu
La‘a Kea, a non-profit dedicated to providing meaningful work opportunities and residential options for adults with autism and intellectual disabilities, won the most votes with its video submission contending for the solar energy system.
The Mahalo Hawaii contest celebrates Enphase's approach to its 25,000th system installation in Hawaii by awarding a $25,000 solar PV system to a non-profit. Enphase offers microinverter technology to the solar industry, which converts energy at the individual solar module level.
There were 16 contenders, and more than 38,000 votes cast, so competition was intense.
The solar PV system will help La‘a Kea reduce their energy costs while using a renewable energy system. La‘a Kea runs an organic farm on 12 acres in upper Paia. Maui's electricity rates are more than double the nation's average, so solar PV made sense.
"We want to thank Enphase for this generous donation and the thousands of friends and neighbors who voted for us," said Donna Ting, president of La‘a Kea's board of directors, in a news release. "It was an incredible community effort. Going solar is important. It helps us to be a more responsible steward of our resources and that is a good example for our residents and the community. The savings from the solar system will allow us to continue to focus on our mission of serving Maui residents with developmental disabilities and helping them thrive in our community."