Hitachi Chairman Visits Hawaii for Speaker Panel on JUMPSmart Maui

Picture from Left to Right: Panelist Moderator Mr. Tab Bowers, Executive Vice President, American Savings Bank; Ms. Sharon Suzuki, President, Maui Electric Company (MECO); Ms. Jeanne Skog, President & CEO, Maui Economic Development Board; and Dr. Richard Rocheleau, Director, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

On March 19, 2015, Chairman Takashi Hatchoji joined us at a JASH Speaker Breakfast and Panel-Discussion with featured topic: “JUMPSmart Maui Initiative,” which is currently taking place on the island of Maui. Chairman Hatchoji and the three expert-panelists spoke about the importance of this energy program and its ultimate goal of helping Hawaii become less dependent on fossil fuels.

Chairman Hatchoji’s presentation focused on the history and development of Hitachi as a global enterprise with the company’s basic principles maintained by every employee of the company. The Japanese terms “Wa, Makoto, and Kaitaku-Seishin” translate in English to “Harmony, Sincerity, and Pioneering Spirit”, respectively. These values have persevered with Hitachi as they have developed into a global leader of technology and IT services.

Following Chairman Hatchoji’s presentation, the program segued into a Panel-Discussion featuring Dr. Richard Rocheleau, Director, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Ms. Jeanne Skog, President and CEO, Maui Economic Development Board; and Ms. Sharon Suzuki, President, Maui Electric Company (MECO).

Ms. Suzuki explained that as the provider of electricity for the island of Maui, MECO viewed this project as an opportunity to develop a Smart Grid; a chance to improve solar panel and wind power integration into the energy system; and most importantly, and an opportunity to increase the sharing of information and involvement with the community in Maui.  The goal of the project is to increase clean energy usage to at least 70% by the year 2030. Ms. Skog continued to explain that the JUMPSmart Maui program has been involving the community, businesses, the private sector, and the government.  This cooperation and acknowledgement of each party’s strengths has been integral in the success of the project.

Finally, Dr. Richard Rocheleau spoke of the advantages of the Smart Grid project being on the island of Maui.  He explained that the island has solar and wind resources to make the projected-goals achievable in a way that mainland locations might have trouble doing.

It was wonderful to see the solidarity and confidence that all speakers had in the project and its goals.  They readily answered all questions directed to them from completely different companies and perspectives.  JASH would like to thank Chairman Hatchoji, Ms. Suzuki, Ms. Skog, and Dr. Rocheleau for participating in this panel discussion. Thank you also to NAJAS and Keizai Koho Center for providing JASH the opportunity to host this program.