Kent R. Smith
Kent R. Smith has been actively involved in the development of renewable energy projects in Hawai’i since 2001. He is the co‐founder of Makani Nui Associates, LLC (MNA) (Maui’s first utility scale wind farm) and is the principal owner of Haleakala Energy Associates, LLC (HEA). Mr. Smith also has holdings with No Ka Oi Energy, LLC and is actively involved in the development of two solar farms, South Maui Renewable Resources (2.87 Megawatts) and Ku’ia Solar (2.87 Megawatts). Kent’s involvement with MNA was vital to bringing Maui’s Kaheawa Windfarm (1&2) (51 Megawatts), Oahu’s Kahuku Windfarm (30 Megawatts) and Kawailoa Windfarm (69 Megawatts), from conception to successful fruition.
Mr. Smith and his wife moved to Maui in 1970 from Southern California. They were successful restaurateurs for many years owning three popular and successful restaurants on Maui and Lana’i. Kent was vital in the building and developing of Club Lanai, a beachside Club Med type resort on the East coast of Lanai. Their Makawao Maui restaurant, “Polli’s Mexican Cantina” is still 30 years later a staple in upcountry Maui.
Mr. Smith concurrently entered the real estate development business based on experience as a carpenter. He then started his own company, Kula Construction Company, in 1975.
He created Kent Ross Smith Development (KRSD Inc.), which became known as one of Maui’s most respected early affordable home development companies. KRSD spearheaded zero-lot‐line affordable housing projectson Maui while also successfully undertaking large multi‐lot land homes and subdivisions. His building experience also includes condominiums and commercial development on Maui, The Big Island and Lana’i. He retired from his successful development company, KRSD, to focus his energies on renewable energy opportunities.
Mr. Smith’s career has given him extensive background, knowledge and connections with all aspects of successful land development projects, government entitlement, construction ownership and management of renewable energy projects in Hawai’i. He is known for unyielding perseverance and a “take no prisoners” attitude which has proven successful in all of his business ventures.
He and his wife Polli give back to the community through their association with the Hawai’i Community Foundation the Kent and Polli Smith Family Fund. They are benefactors to many charitable non-profits throughout the islands of Hawai’i. Mr. Smith is an avid golfer and he and his wife spend much time enjoying their child and grandchild.