Since 1961, locals and tourists alike have crowded into the picnic bench tables of Rainbow Drive-In to savor local Hawaiian favorites. What started as a simple concept of serving affordable, quality food has grown into a local institution serving more than 1,000 plate lunches daily. And Rainbow Drive-In’s business wasn’t the only thing that had skyrocketed over the past 53 years, its energy costs had too.

“You can imagine the growing energy costs of operating a restaurant from early morning to late at night, seven days a week,” explained owner Jim Gusukuma. “It was time we took control, and we felt using PV solar was the solution.”


In addition to panels being installed on the drive-in, an additional 1,400-square-foot solar canopy will be constructed over the parking lot. The project will maintain existing parking, and actually add seating — always in demand at the drive-in.


“Older landmark properties such as Rainbow Drive-In, may not have the roof space, so you have to get creative,” said project lead Matt Cosbie from Kama’aina Solar.

The proposed 53kW solar system is estimated to reduce Rainbow Drive-In’s utility bill by more than 50 percent, saving an estimated $2,250 monthly, with a system pay back of 2.5 years.


“When it came time to choosing a solar company to install our PV solar system, we chose Kama’aina based on reputation and diversification,” Gusukuma explained. “We were able to move forward with peace of mind that we would be working with a quality company that would still be around to support us even when this solar boom passes us by.”

Kama’aina Solar Solutions is proud to be the solar PV installer of this iconic Hawaii landmark. Kama’aina Solar is part of the Kama’aina Family of Businesses, which includes Kama’aina Termite & Pest Control and Kama’aina Plumbing. These businesses have been serving Hawaii’s community since 1999.

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