Our Islands, Our Future

JUMPSmartMaui took off this month as residents joined the Project’s partners in launching a collaborative demonstration project between Japan and Hawaii. The program incorporates Smart Grid, renewable energy and all-electric vehicle solutions to achieve a cleaner, more sustainable future free of fossil fuels. “We look forward to working hand-in-hand with our partners on JUMPSmartMaui to create a project that will benefit the people of Maui island,” said Hideo Hato, president of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, or NEDO. “Furthermore, we believe we can make this a leading model not only in the Asia-Pacific region but around the world,” Hato said in announcing the project’s launch along with Mayor Alan Arakawa and Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui.

NEDO, Japan’s largest public research and development management organization, is investing $30 million in the project. JUMPSmartMaui aims to gain insight into how to build a more efficient electric system that uses more renewable energy and supports electric vehicles. “We need to get away from petroleum-based energy,” Arakawa said as he signed a memorandum of understanding agreement with the Japanese project representatives. “The JUMPSmartMaui will help us better understand how these innovative technologies may help solve Maui’s energy challenges.”

Residents can participate by taking part in the Electric Vehicle Program, in which 200 LEAF owners or people who lease the vehicles, would agree to certain requirements. Or, they can volunteer for the Home Energy Program in which 40 Kihei homeowners will use Smart Grid technology to monitor their electricity usage. Hitachi Ltd., Mizuho Corporate Bank and Cyber Defense Institute were awarded the contract by NEDO to develop the JUMPSmartMaui program. For more information, visit:, e-mail:, or call Maui Economic Development Board at 875-2300.