Pulama Lanai, the company that manages Larry Ellison’s 98% stake on Lanai, is in talks to purchase the island’s power grid from Hawaiian Electric.

The move would allow Pulama Lanai — Hawaiian Electric’s largest customer on Lanai — to develop its own renewable energy projects and perhaps lower some of the most expensive electricity costs in the state, according to a statement the company issued Monday.

So far, the parties are in “exploratory talks” that arose after Hawaiian Electric issued a request for proposals for renewable energy projects on the Pineapple Island, according to a separate statement issued by the large utility company. Some 3,000 residents live on Lanai.

Lanai aircraft approach . 13 april 2017
Lanai’s 3,000 or so residents see some of the highest electricity costs in Hawaii. The company that manages the island for Larry Ellison is in “exploratory talks” to buy the power grid from Hawaiian Electric. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Pulama Lanai operates two Four Seasons resorts on Lanai, and it had already been working on its own renewable energy plan, according to Hawaiian Electric.

“Our journey towards 100% sustainability now leads us to investigate the potential benefits of owning the grid,” Pulama Lanai’s statement read. “We are by far its largest customer and have a vested interest in building a modernized grid that will speed Lanai’s progress towards being energy independent.”

Lanai customers have some of the most expensive electric bills in Hawaii, the company’s statement further noted. Pulama Lanai aims to eventually create micro-grids at the resorts it manages.

The sale would require approval of the Public Utilities Commission, it noted.

Hawaiian Electric currently provides electricity to Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties. Kauai customers get their power through a cooperative.

The state, meanwhile, has a goal to provide all of its energy via renewable sources by 2045.

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