Energy

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.…

Hale Connects People to Land and Sea

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Hale Connects People to Land and Sea

At Ka Honua Momona (KHM) Ali`i fishpond, workers take breaks in the shade of a large traditional thatched hale, where it is cool even on the hottest days. Office workers can look out at the hale and 30-acre pond from the windows of the sustainable office building where administrative work supports KHM’s mission of sustainability.

KHM hasn’t always had these amenities. The office and hale are the newest addition to the Ali`i fishpond, which nine years ago was overgrown with mangrove and knee-deep in mud. Today, because of the efforts of staff and volunteers eager to preserve the site’s ancient heritage, the Ali`i and Kalakoeli fishponds serve as a place for learning, sharing and restoring.…

Molokai Power Outage

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Maui Electric News Release

At 9:40 a.m. this morning, Molokai experienced an island-wide power outage affecting approximately 3,200 customers. At this time, power to the majority of our customers on Molokai has been restored.

Parts of Kaunakakai were brought back on-line at 11:38 a.m. and Hoolehua, including the Airport, was restored to power at 11:43 a.m. Customers on Molokai’s west end were restored shortly thereafter at 11:51 a.m. and the Kualapuu area was brought back on-line at 12:03 p.m. Remaining customers in Kaunakakai were restored at 12:18 p.m.

At this time, customers on Molokai’s east end remain without power. Maui Electric crews are working hard to bring these customers back on-line as quickly and safely as possible.…

An Evening for the Earth

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

An Evening for the Earth

The community gathered at Mitchel Pauole Center Friday to explore Molokai’s natural wonders and celebrate the gifts of the `aina.  With information on conservation, plant life, wildfire prevention, clean energy and more, Molokai Earth Day featured an abundance of learning for keiki and adults. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has organized the annual event since 1995, and this year the organization recognized its 30th year on Molokai.

Kula Kaiapuni o Kualapu`u (pictured here), Kualapu`u Charter School’s Hawaiian Language immersion program, kicked off the night, which included music, prizes and food.  TNC Molokai program manager Ed Misaki received the Malama Kuleana Honua Conservation Award for his 30 years of conservation through TNC, including Kamakou Preserve and the East Molokai Watershed Partnership.…