Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release
Sust`aina ble Molokai is working to integrate our island’s legacy of `aina momona (abundance) with modern self-reliant precepts to build a sustainable Molokai rooted in traditional knowledge and supported by emerging green practices and industries. We are creating Molokai-pedia, an open source multi-layered database project, which will focus on creating a needs assessment picture of Molokai’s resources.
Molokai-pedia will draw what is available on Molokai in the areas of environment and natural resources, land use and subsistence, waste management, community health and safety, culture, green economy and local businesses, eco-education, water, renewable energy, transportation, green building and affordable housing, and food production and security.…
Sustainable Living Institute of Maui News Release
In a training program on Molokai, residents can learn to design and install photovoltaic energy systems. The Entry Level Photovoltaic (PV) Training Program is a comprehensive training program that prepares students to take the entry level NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) exam. Held from Feb. 21-24 and Feb. 29 through March 3, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., it will train participants in the principles of small business, residential and commercial PV installation and design.
Caption by Catherine Cluett, photo ©PF Bentley/PFPix.com
Molokai hosted its first Alternative Energy Festival last weekend, organized by I Aloha Molokai, a community group that opposes industrial wind turbines on the island. The festival featured panel discussions on the state’s proposed Big Wind project, alternatives to that plan, workshops on topics from how to dry food to how to finance a small photovoltaic system, entertainment by acclaimed musicians such as Amy Hanaiali`i, and a youth poster contest. Above, musicians from the group Molokai Drums gave a debut performance to open the festival.
BIO-LOGICAL CAPITAL NEWS RELEASE
Bio-Logical Capital, a land investment, development, and conservation company, formally welcomes Keiki-Pua Dancil, Ph.D. as its vice president of Hawaii operations. In her role as vice president, Hawaii, she oversees Bio-Logical Capital’s activities and investments in the islands.
Bio-Logical partnered with developer Pattern Energy earlier this year to form Molokai Renewables, LLC and pursue a wind turbine project on Molokai and undersea transmission cable to Oahu.
Dancil most recently was the president and CEO of the Hawaii Science and Technology Institute and the Hawaii Science and Technology Council, with which she was involved in developing strategic partnerships between state and federal agencies, private and public schools, and the business community on issues including workforce development and economic revitalization in science and technology. Previously, Dancil was the executive vice president of a diversified medical technology company involved in the manufacturing of raw materials for various pharmaceutical applications.
At Bio-Logical, she most recently served as vice president of Hawaii Business and Development and Strategy.
She received her doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego and her master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University. Currently Dancil is on the board of PBS Hawaii and Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation.
Molokai cannot afford a 6.7 percent electricity rate increase requested by Maui Electric Company (MECO), residents testified during a Public Utilities Commission (PUC) public hearing at Mitchell Pauole Center last week.
MECO filed the request with the PUC in July in order to “cover the cost of improvements to integrate additional renewable energy and improve the reliability of service to its Maui, Lanai and Molokai customers,” according to a press release.
Sen. Mike Gabbard and at least two other legislators will visit Molokai Nov. 2 to discuss the so-called “Big Wind” project with local residents, the senator confirmed today.
Gabbard, who chairs the Senate Energy/Environment Committee, is leading the visit with Sen. Kalani English and Rep. Denny Coffman. Rep. Mele Carroll may also attend.
The legislators are finalizing plans to hold listening sessions with various groups on the island, including people who might be for or against industrial wind farms on Molokai and Lanai, between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. They plan to visit Lanai Nov. 3.
Residents interested in scheduling a session may call Gabbard’s office at 808-586-6830.
Kanu Hawaii is pleased to announce the start of the Molokai Home Energy Monitor Program, a new energy pilot project intended to help Molokai renters and homeowners understand and manage their energy use.
The project will invite 100 Molokai households to receive a free whole-house energy monitor that displays real-time, minute-to-minute energy consumption and cost data via a table-stop display about the size of a cell phone. The display shows up-to-the minute dollar costs for all electricity use in the home, from “phantom” draw from electronics to opening the fridge door or taking a hot shower. As appliances are turned on and off, the monitor shows the changing cost.
The island of Lanai, one of Maui County’s treasures, has breathtaking natural beauty, lavish resorts and a crown jewel – the last intact plantation town in the country, centered around a spacious central park. In 2009, Lanai City was listed as one of the 11 most Endangered Historic Places in America.
All of this is at risk, and the threat is two-fold: Castle & Cooke has recently applied for the demolition of 15 to 20 historic buildings in Lanai City to make way for large-scale commercial development. Rather than preserving the historic buildings and incorporating them into a development plan, they hope to erase them altogether.
Molokai residents east of Kaunakakai who want to reap the benefits of installing small, renewable energy systems for their homes or businesses may be out of luck. Based on limits set by the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Maui Electric Company (MECO) has announced effective closure of the east half of Molokai to new renewable energy systems in order to ensure stability and reliability of electric service, according to MECO.
Each island has its own energy grid, and every grid is broken into circuits that serve different regions of the island. Molokai has five circuits, while Oahu has 465. As of last week, the circuit running from Kaunakakai to Halawa has reached the 15 percent threshold of renewable energy that the PUC has set on electric circuits statewide.
Because most renewable energy is a variable energy source – solar panels, for example, are only effective during the day – fluctuations in the electric grid caused by the use of renewable energy can result in instabilities and possible interruptions in service. In order to maintain the reliability of electric service to customers, residents and business owners wishing to install additional renewable energy systems to an already filled circuit may be required to pay for a study that would “determine that more distributed generation systems like PV [photovoltaic solar] can be safely added to the circuit, or determine what steps are needed to reliably accommodate more on the circuit,” according to MECO spokeswoman Kau`i Awai-Dickson, via email.
,” said Mangelsdorf, also a member of the working group.
In addition, Awai-Dickson said MECO is working on a team led by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute to “develop and install automated controls and energy storage technologies at the neighborhood level of the electric system to enable better use of distributed renewable generation.”
“The work is just beginning and we hope that by working together, we can help develop a process to support the management of more clean energy solutions on our grids,” said Awai-Dickson.
Maui Electric Company (MECO) filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last week for a 6.7 percent rate increase for Maui County customers next year. If granted, the typical ratepayer’s bill would increase by about $13 per month in mid-2012, according to a MECO press release.
MECO’s request was prompted by “the need to recover costs of improving existing and adding new facilities in 2011 and 2012 that will help to maintain reliable electric service, reduce emissions and add more renewable energy to our grid,” said MECO Communications Supervisor Kau`i Awai-Dickson.