The Story of Haleakala Solar
Haleakala Solar was founded in March 1977 by James Whitcomb. In 1977 the world was just getting used to oil prices which had quadrupled since the 1973 Arab oil embargo. Air pollution was a serious problem but few people did anything about it. Global warming was dismissed. And it would still be two years before the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Determined to make a difference Whitcomb tirelessly promoted solar energy as the wave of the future. Not only to tackle the pollution problem but for national security reasons.
Energy costs were far less in 1977 than today. The only way Haleakala Solar could sell solar systems was to make sure they would last beyond the payback period which in those days was 10 years or longer. Anything less was a losing proposition. Whitcomb realized that the only way to insure this was to use the highest quality materials. But more importantly hire, train, and retain excellent local people to provide service to its customers.
Over the years Whitcomb was able to assemble and train a top notch management team. This management team has over 210 years of collective solar experience. Haleakala Solar employs 150 people. In addition many sub-contractors & local supply companies receive business from Haleakala Solar. Showrooms are loacted at both the Maui Mall on Maui and at 2700 South King Street in Honolulu. The showrooms have products and our knowledgeable solar experts are there 7 days a week to provide information and answer any questions. During the last 35 years Haleakala Solar has installed over 10,000 solar systems including the largest solar hot water system in Hawaii (22,000 gallons/day) and the largest PV system on Maui (600KW). Haleakala Solar has installed solar systems on all 6 of the inhabited islands. Haleakala Solar specializes in photovoltaic electric systems and solar hot water systems. Haleakala Solar provides design, engineering, installation, and maintenance services throughout the state of Hawaii. Each year Haleakala Solar’s installed base of solar energy systems eliminates the importing and burning of over 74,000 barrels of oil. This replaces over 52 million kilowatt hours of electricity saving its customers over $18 million per year in energy costs. These systems prevent over 52 million pounds of carbon dioxide from polluting the air each year as well. Finally Mr. Whitcomb feels as if he made a difference.