No Windmills in Landfills
By Frank Leary
Aloha, Slow Down, This is Molokai.
For almost 20 years, this sign at the airport has greeted visitors and locals to let them know we want them to slow down and drive safely. Slow down, and respect our island and lifestyle.
Molokai is heaven on earth compared to the other Hawaiian Islands. There is still a small-town atmosphere with no traffic lights or parking meters. People still wave at one another.
Molokaians have worked hard to defend our island against outsiders trying to capitalize on our resources. Several half-baked ideas have been tried. Most were not well thought-out, and some were just plain scams. A plan to create electricity from our refuse failed. When Molokai Ranch tried to install a 36-inch diameter water pipe leading to the west end to sell for agricultural use, it was stopped by locals blocking the construction equipment.
Now, we have another “genius” idea, to use giant windmills to supply electricity.
I am all for alternative energy and I have been using solar panels for 20 years. We are not even connected to the grid. We use propane for hot water and refrigeration. We use compact fluorescent lighting. We unplug all of our electronics, even when they are turned off. I am for alternative energy, but I would not put my money into a plan that has been tried, and failed.
During the late 1980s, three windmills were installed near Kaluakoi that had three blades each and were 100 feet high. When Hurricane Iniki came, it took them out, twisting the blades into scrap metal. Several months later, I saw the destroyed blades in the landfill. The windmills were totally destroyed and were never repaired or replaced. One hundred- foot-high towers make excellent lightning rods. The wind changes direction often and these monsters have to turn to face the wind in order to work. Several months a year, there is no wind and the windmills do not turn. Being aware of these pitfalls, spending millions of dollars putting monster windmills on Molokai is a bad idea. As for putting all of the wind farms on homestead land, that is another bad idea.
I love Molokai. Unless the owners of the windmills can get lightning and hurricane insurance, rottsa ruck (lots of luck). Check the facts and take your half-baked ideas and schemes elsewhere.
For all who appreciate Molokai for what it is, stand up and defend her. Speak up and voice your concerns.
Remember, Aloha, Slow Down, This is Molokai.