Vista buys Maui Energy to get isle foothold
Maui Energy Co., a Haiku-based alternative energy startup, said yesterday it has agreed to be acquired by Vista International Inc., a Colorado company that is attempting to commercialize waste-to-energy technology.
Vista has signed a letter of agreement to acquire Maui Energy to gain a foothold in the isle renewable energy market. It announced plans to move into Hawaii in December. The all-stock transaction is expected to close within two months, said Barry Kemble, CEO of Vista International Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Visa International Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"The Hawaiian islands can be a focal point," Kemble said in an interview. "There is a tremendous amount of interest in what we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The acquisition will allow Vista to capitalize on the relationships that Maui Energy President Leo Caires has developed with in Hawaii, Kemble said. Caires started Maui Energy in 2005 and is the only employee.
Caires, who has been working with Vista as a consultant and will keep his position after the buyout, said in an interview that he is working on permitting for residential wind power units, but that Vista is also interested in building a waste-to-energy facility here as well as selling full spectrum lighting to local businesses.
"My personal vision was to not only be limited to one dimension of technology," he said. "This acquisition is it is really going to take Maui Energy Co. to a new level with its diversified portfolio of technologies."
The installation of residential wind turbines, which cost up to $20,000, is likely to start within a several months on Maui with planned expansion to neighbor islands later in the year.
Some models generate up to 500 kilowatt-hours a month, or nearly enough to power an average-size home, Caires said.
"The small-scale wind turbine systems going to accelerate in the market here in Hawaii," he said. "The market has not been penetrated."