Energy

Molokai Clean Energy Initiative

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

IAM News Release

After five productive meetings the time has come to bring the general public up to date on the Molokai Clean Energy Initiative, or MCEI. These monthly meetings are held at Kulana Oiwi here on Molokai. They are sponsored by I Aloha Molokai (IAM) and chaired by IAM President Kanohowailuku Helm. Our goal is to provide a forum for communities, organizations and other stakeholders to meet together, share ideas, and envision an affordable clean energy future for everybody.

IAM is a nonprofit, volunteer community organization, originally formed to oppose the Big Wind turbines slated for Molokai’s west end. Two years ago, Molokai Ranch approached us to discuss other issues of concern to the community.…

MECO Planned Kaluakoi Outages

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

MECO News Release

Maui Electric Company (MECO) will be scheduling periodic interruptions in electrical service for the Kaluakoi subdivision as part of a system improvement project to install new equipment in this community. Kaluakoi residences will be notified of specific dates and times of the outages via printed flyers delivered to their homes.

As part of this project, the periodic outages will be scheduled through October to replace several switchgears. A combination of electrical disconnect switches, fuses or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment, switchgears provide continued reliability of the electricity Maui Electric provides to customers.

Should there be any questions or concerns, please contact Maui Electric directly at 1-877-871-8461.…

MECO Scheduled Kaluakoi Outages

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

MECO News Release

Maui Electric Company (MECO) is scheduling an electricity outage for the Kaluakoi subdivision in west Molokai this Friday, Aug. 23, from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The planned outage is part of an improvement project to install new equipment in that area.

As part of this project, periodic outages will be scheduled through October to replace several switchgears. A combination of electrical disconnect switches, fuses or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment, switchgears provide continued reliability of the electrical supply.

Should there be any questions or concerns, please contact Maui Electric directly at 1-877-871-8461.…

20 Years of Electric Plans

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Changes could be in store for how Molokai is fueled. By the end of the decade, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) could replace the use of liquid petroleum fuel for electricity, if the new Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) long-term plan is followed. This would be more cost effective and cleaner, according to HECO’s Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) report, filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on June 28.

The 775-page document outlines potential scenarious for HECO’s future and how to meet energy needs. It includes the plan for LNG, which is a fossil fuel that has been converted to a liquid, which sharply decreases volume and eases transportation.…

Molokai Customers to Get Electric Refund

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

An electric bill refund is on the way for Molokai customers of Maui Electric Company (MECO). A recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Maui County electric rates will result in an estimated $39 to $49 refund.

Last year, MECO applied for a rate increase with the PUC. An interim rate of 3.16 percent in annual revenues, or $13.1 million, was approved by the PUC and charged to customers in their bills since June 2012. In a final rate decision issued last week, however, the PUC approved a MECO revenue increase of about half that — 1.29 percent revenue increase, or $5.3 million.…

Public Meeting for HECO Action Plan

Friday, June 7th, 2013

HECO news relese

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light Company have scheduled meetings to seek public comment on draft five-year action plans. Molokai’s meeting will be Wednesday, June 19 at the Mitchell Pauole Center from 6 to 8 p.m.

The action plans are part of the Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process, which looks at how the utilities will meet future energy needs. The Hawaiian Electric Companies intend to file an action plan for each company with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by June 28.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies will consider all comments in developing plans that will guide the utilities in coming years.…

Residential, State Efforts for More Solar Increase

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Residential, State Efforts for More Solar Increase

Molokai residents are eager to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs to reduce their energy bills and malama the environment. But current technology limits the amount of renewable energy that can be fed into the island-wide electricity grid while maintaining reliability of electric service, according to Maui Electric Company (MECO).

Because renewable energy is a variable source — solar, for example, only generates energy during the day — MECO says relying heavily on renewable sources can cause instability in electricity service. To solve this problem, utility companies, in conjunction with the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC), have established various threshold levels, also known as penetration limits, to regulate the amount of renewable energy on each circuit.…

Big Wind: Not As Big

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Focus now on island-wide energy generation

Big Wind was the nickname for the state’s energy plan that included 200-megawatt wind farms on both Molokai and Lanai to supply energy to Oahu via an undersea cable. In the latest plan, Molokai Properties Limited , also known as Molokai Ranch, had planned to lease 11,000 acres of land to wind company Pattern Energy to build 70 400-foot tall wind turbines. But that plan fell through when the Ranch called off the deal in February, announcing their decision not to renew the lease agreement.

“Big Wind is dead as far as island of Molokai,” said Doug McCleod, Maui County energy commissioner last week.…

Beyond Big Wind: Molokai’s Energy Future

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

With the possibility of an industrial scale wind farm no longer hanging over the heads of many concerned Molokai residents, the community is now looking toward Molokai’s energy future. Many options are being discussed in a conversation that is including residents, land owners, state and county officials and other energy stakeholders.

Molokai residents pay among the highest electric rates in the nation, second only to Lanai. Those prices are due largely to the rising cost of fossil fuel used to produce electricity. The price of fuel so greatly impacts electric bills because more than 50 percent of each bill is made up of fuel costs, according to Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO).…

Leading the Charge Off Grid: Organization runs on solar and wind

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Leading the Charge Off Grid: Organization runs on solar and wind

Molokai’s first smart-grid electric system is now powering nonprofit Ka Honua Momona (KHM). The Ali`i fishpond’s new office is a milestone for the organization and the island, demonstrating how rural development can utilize wind and solar energy to create electricity.

The system is off-grid, meaning KHM provides all of their own power. With the help of eight large batteries, the nonprofit organization can remain completely independent from Maui Electric even during extended windless and overcast periods. It is also a smart system, prioritizing essential appliances and automatically switching to a backup generator when all else fails.

Molokai engineer Bruce Yamashita oversaw design of the project.…