Ulupono Initiative

Mana O Ka La

Developing a 5-megawatt solar facility for Leeward Oahu that benefits Native Hawaiian programs.

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Mana O Ka La, LLC represents a prime example of partnering with respected community leaders for a modest investment to catalyze a larger project that combines renewable energy progress with community building.

Ulupono provided a no-interest loan of $40,000 to catalyze creation of the $30 million, 5-megawatt solar farm called Mana O Ka La, which takes advantage of the abundant natural sunlight available on Oahu’s Leeward coast. The funding agreement with Ulupono provided $30,000 to be used as the deposit to secure a long-term land lease on a 40-acre parcel of land, and $10,000 in startup capital for Mana O Ka La.

Owned by the non-profit Hawaiian Community Development Board (HCDB), Mana O Ka La is expected to provide a long-term annuity stream to continually fund various Native Hawaiian community endeavors such as providing increased affordable housing, the establishment of community centers and ongoing cultural and educational programs.

The project also helps bring more renewable energy online to help Hawaiian Electric Company and the State in achieving their clean energy goals. HCDB’s President and CEO Kali Watson, and Senior Vice President Patti Barbee, envision replicating Mana O Ka La on other parcels of Native Hawaiian-owned land on Oahu and the neighbor islands.

Mana O Ka La has a strong development team with experience in the development, finance, technology, construction, management, operations of solar, and other large-scale renewable and non-renewable energy projects in Hawaii and throughout the United States. As the limited liability energy company for HCDB, Mana O Ka La is dedicated to generating funds by developing cost-effective, high quality photovoltaic systems that support alternative energy and that maximize revenues to sustain and improve the lives and communities of Native Hawaiians throughout Hawaii.

Why We Invested

The Ulupono Initiative invests in organizations and companies working toward more sustainable food, energy, and waste systems in Hawaii. Investing in Mana O Ka La provides the opportunity for impact in energy.


  • Increase Hawaii’s energy independence by replacing imported oil with renewable solar power
  • Partner with respected Native Hawaiian community leaders
  • Investment taps natural resources while benefiting the community that is sharing them
  • Model can be replicated to enhance impact

At a Glance

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Investment Area
Financial Model
Total Investment

in seed capital (a 0 percent interest loan)