Energy

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

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.

“Electricity is one of the highest costs all Molokai residents and businesses have to contend with so projects to help alleviate the high costs of fuel as reflected in electrical rates is a tremendous positive for Molokai,” said Halealoha Ayau, DHHL’s acting district supervisor for Molokai, via email.…

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.…

Proposal Would Bring 100% Renewable Energy

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

A proposed renewable energy project for Molokai combines solar and stored hydroelectric power with the goal of 100 percent renewable energy for the island and lowered electric rates for local customers. The project, called Ikehu Molokai, is still in the early stages of discussion. It would be a joint endeavor between California-based Princeton Energy Group and landowner Molokai Ranch.

If completed, Molokai would become the first grid in the world to be converted completely to renewable energy, said Princeton CEO Steve Tabor.

“We were on sidelines for the Big Wind project [that proposed industrial wind turbines on Molokai], but we were kind of offended by the project — it was way out of scale,” said Tabor. …

$3.1M Battery Proposed for Power Plant

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

If you’ve noticed a lot of temporary electricity outages and lights dimming lately on Molokai, you’re not alone — and energy researchers have proposed a multi-million dollar project they hope will help stabilize the island’s electricity supply.

About one fifth of Molokai’s electricity comes from photovoltaic (PV) energy from business and residential solar panels, according to Mathew McNeff, Maui Electric manager of Renewable Energy Services Department. However, that high percentage is causing instabilities in the flow of electricity. Because energy generated from PV depends on conditions like the weather and daylight, it doesn’t provide a steady source of electricity to Molokai’s electric grid.…