Energy

Energy Education with Big Goals

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Energy Education with Big Goals

K-12 teachers attended an workshop earlier this month to learn how better educate students in energy conservation. Photo by Catherine Cluett

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.…

Free Energy Education Workshops for Teachers

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Hawaii Energy News Release

This spring, Hawaii Energy is offering free, one-day workshops with tools and resources for Hawaii’s teachers to learn about and teach energy efficiency in the classroom. The Molokai workshop will be held on March 1 at Molokai High School from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Teachers of all subjects from Kindergarten –through 12th grade are welcome to attend.  There are two types of workshops. One is Energy Education that teaches the concepts of force, motion, light, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism and energy transformations. The other is Building Science, aimed at helping students learn how buildings can become more energy-efficient through various measures such as lighting inspections, measuring electricity plug loads and taking temperature readings.…

Ikehu Molokai Energy Project Update

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Ikehu Molokai News Release

Mahalo to the Molokai community for your many expressions of support for the Ikehu Molokai project. Thanks also for the many comments and feedback on the project.  Among other things, we have heard concerns about impacts on the Manila Camp neighborhood if the project is located there, visual and wildlife impacts from possible wind turbines in the west end, impacts on water from use of the reservoirs.

We have also heard that the basic goals of the project are very welcome on Molokai.  These goals include rate relief, grid stability, island self-sufficiency, leaving plenty of room for more rooftop solar, and energy emergency preparedness. …

Power Outages Unexplainable

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Maui Electric Company representatives visited Molokai last week to discuss a series of power outages on the island over the last year and explain their cause — or rather, to call them unexplainable.

There were 16 major outages on Molokai between Jan. 6 and Dec. 22, 2013, according to Joe Kentz, manager of Maui Electric’s transmission and distribution department. Three of those, not including a fourth in January of this year, have no identifiable cause.

“We really can’t explain what’s going on,” said Kentz. “I’ve been in this industry for 43 years and I’ve always been able to find the cause of a problem… We will find cause.…

Maui Electric Hosts Community Meetings This Week

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Maui Electric News Release

Maui Electric Company invites the Molokai community to attend a series of public meetings regarding the recent power outages affecting customers on the island.

There will be three meetings to accommodate customers across the island. Light refreshments will be served.

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at the Kualapu`u School Cafeteria 6 p.m. A meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 29 will take place at Kilohana Community Center at 6 p.m. On Thursday, Jan. 30, the final meeting will be at Kulana `Oiwi at 6 p.m.…

Ikehu Molokai Project

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Princeton Energy News Release

It is our goal to keep island residents informed of the progress of the Ikehu Molokai project.  As everyone knows, the grid on Molokai has some problems, like high costs for Molokai residents and businesses, blackouts and brownouts, and a high carbon footprint.  The Ikehu Molokai project aims to address these problems by converting the island’s electric system to renewable energy. The project is a joint effort between Princeton Energy and Molokai Ranch.

Maui Electric Company (MECO) has done their part to solve these problems, taking financial losses to minimize rate hikes, and working with the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) to install a battery system to stabilize the grid. …

Habitat for Humanity Partnering for Solar

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Habitat for Humanity Partnering for Solar

State, county and nonprofit organization representatives attended a press conference announcing OHA’s $32,600 contribution supporting affordable housing and renewable energy solutions for Molokai’s Native Hawaiian households. Photo by Jessica Ahles

Molokai is making steps towards becoming a clean energy community as 163 homes will be receiving free photovoltaic (PV) solar units while cutting their energy bills in half. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has granted $32,600 to Molokai’s Habitat for Humanity in support of their partnership with solar company Kala Power Inc. and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL). The deal will combine affordable housing and renewable energy solutions for low-income Native Hawaiian families living on homestead land.…

Energy Festival Cancellation

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

IAM News Release

I Aloha Molokai (IAM) regrets to announce the cancellation of our third Alternative Energy Festival, scheduled for Jan. 14. We had hoped once again to host vendors, speakers, and vigorous public discussion of energy options for our island and our state. Recent confidential negotiations between Molokai Ranch, California wind developer Princeton Energy, Maui County and Maui Electric, however, have cast doubt on our ability to keep the Festival as transparent and neutral as the previous two.

These negotiations concern a proposed 25 megawatt solar farm with pumped hydro backup, to be placed on Molokai Ranch land above and below Manila Camp.…

Energy Festival Nixed Over Renewable Project Concerns

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Amid recent concerns over proposed renewable energy project Ikehu Molokai, I Aloha Molokai (IAM) has cancelled its third annual Renewable Energy Festival that was scheduled for January. The nonprofit feared the event would act as a showcase for Ikehu, falsely implying IAM’s endorsement of the project. While IAM leaders say they feel the project has potential for Molokai, they are not ready to support it based on what they consider to be a lack of public input.

“We do not want [the energy festival] to be used to help push a process that does not have community buy-in yet,” said Kanohowailuku Helm, president of IAM, a local nonprofit that supports community-based energy solutions, in an email to Maui County officials.…