Engaging the Community

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Community Contributed

By Barbara Haliniak

I am not a renewable energy expert.  But I do know that when you want to be successful in executing an island plan, make sure you get the community involved in the planning stages.  Otherwise you will probably run across many challenges that could have been prevented by not being inclusive.  This column is not to debate renewable energy for our island, but to speak loudly on the exclusion of important information regarding projects that will affect all households prior to community meetings or introduction of legislative bills.

This legislative session, House Bill 1942, “Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist Princeton Energy Group or Princeton Energy Group’s related entity, Ikehu Molokai LLC, with financing and refinancing costs relating to the planning, design, and construction of a renewable energy project with energy storage technology on the island of Molokai.”  The special purpose revenue bonds totaled $50 million; the ACT has an effective date of July 1, 2014 and lapse date of June 30, 2019.  …

Molokai Energy Assessment  

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

Sust` aina ble Molokai has published the second piece in our Molokai-pedia project the Molokai Energy assessment. This assessment follows Agricultural Needs Assessment that helped to inform the needs in the community for food security and farmer economic security.

Due to  the information gathered, we are able  to pursue the development  of a Molokai Food hub  that will be able to help local farmers gain access to  local markets on island,  help our students  by gaining access  to local food through the cafeteria and eventually establishing off island markets for our farmers  long term economic security.…

Facing Climate Change, Part III

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Emillia Noordhoek

Editor’s Note: Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust`ainable Molokai, traveled to Europe to attend the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year. This is the third in a three-part series about the Panel’s conclusions and how global climate change will affect Molokai and the world.

Samso is an island off the coast of Denmark in the Baltic Sea that is 16 miles long by four miles wide, with a total area of 44 square miles.  The island’s electricity is powered 100 percent by renewable energy and they are connected to the mainland by a cable to sell the over-production to the rest of the grid.…

Undersea Cable Still On the Table for Some Islands

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

State and federal energy officials got a clear message from Molokai residents who voiced their continued opposition to a potential undersea transmission cable in Hawaii that would transport energy interisland.

“I’m totally pro-renewable energy which is why I’m very concerned and upset by this document,” said Molokai resident and energy expert Mike Bond, referring to the Hawaii Clean Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). “The one thing that concerns me the most is the tacit acceptance of the undersea cable… I think the cable is a disaster — it’s hyper-costly, and in my view, a political, corporate scam.”

The PEIS is a 1,000-page-plus document that analyzes potential environmental impacts associated with a wide variety of clean energy technologies and activities across the state.…

Small Changes for Better Electric Service

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Small Changes for Better Electric Service

At Molokai’s Maui Electric Pala`au Power Plant, there’s a room filled with panels of switches, dials and screens. There, an operator who works 24/7, keeping Molokai’s lights on. There’s a constant hum inside the control room from the plant’s 13 huge diesel generators.

“We’re attuned to this noise,” said electrician Brian Tachibana. “If it changes at all, these guys will pick it up.”

Slight changes in frequency could mean a drop or surge in power, which require minute adjustments in settings by the operator.

They also watch the clocks – not so they can tell when their eight-hour shift is up, but as a way to monitor the frequency being generated.…

Energy Assistance Program

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

MEO Molokai News Release

June is the only month that the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program is offered and MEO Molokai will be taking applications June 2-30, Monday through Fridays except on June 11.  We ask that if anyone is interested to please pick up a brochure that is posted in town or at MEO office at the end of Kolapa Place.

Give us a call at 553-3216 to make an appointment and please gather all your required documents before coming to your appointment.…

Report from the Lines

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Report from the Lines

Have you noticed a lot of Henkles & McCoy trucks lately working on Kaunakakai’s power lines? That’s because the company has a contract from Maui Electric to improve the Kaunakakai electric circuit. The work is scheduled to last until August.

Henkles & McCoy (H&M) workers are replacing distribution wires, updating transformers and replacing power poles, said H&M Power Superintendent John Gladden. Currently, the wires are copper and they’re old — Gladden demonstrated snapping the wire with one hand. The new distribution lines will be made of aluminum.

They’re about a quarter of the way finished with the line replacement, and have already laid about 5,500 feet of new wire, said Gladden.…

Ikehu Molokai Project Update

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Ikehu Molokai News Release

As most Molokai residents know, the Ikehu Molokai project has been proposed to convert the island’s electricity to 100 percent renewable energy.  The project aims to bring down the cost of electricity, stabilize the grid, make the grid able to absorb more rooftop solar systems, make Molokai self-sufficient in energy and more in control of its energy future, and create jobs.  The Ikehu Molokai project will produce electricity for Molokai only, with no connection to a cable or export to other islands.

The Ikehu Molokai team has been working on the design and financing of the project. …

Energy Education with Big Goals

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Energy Education with Big Goals

Molokai High junior Sarah Jenkins hopes that her senior project will take an island-wide trend of energy awareness and conservation to the next level. She said she thinks teaching Molokai’s youth about energy literacy is a good place to start, and on March 1, teachers from around the island participated in an energy education workshop with that very goal.

In a series of workshops offered statewide in collaboration between Hawaii Energy, a ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program, and National Energy Education Development (NEED), nearly 20 Molokai teachers from elementary through high school levels learned how to better educate their students on energy topics.…

Renewable Energy Proposal Changes Direction

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Ikehu Molokai — the project proposed jointly by Princeton Energy and Molokai Ranch with the goal of lowering the island’s electricity rates and creating a 100 percent renewable energy source – has changed directions since its inception. Steve Taber, the CEO of California-based company Princeton, now says after community concerns, plans do not include the stored hydro energy system above Manila Camp originally proposed.

Taber said now that meetings have been held with Manila Camp residents and other groups around the island, two major concerns arose with the company’s project. The original intention involved installation of nearly 100 acres of solar panels, an approximately 10-acre water reservoir, and a pumping and turbine station located above or near Manila Camp.…