Biochar for Molokai

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

Josiah Hunt of Pacific Biochar is the mover and shaker in the use of biochar in Hawaii and other areas of the world, and will be presenting a workshop on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. at UH Maui College-Molokai Farm located in the Molokai Agricultural Park.

Although the word “biochar” may be new, the idea of using charcoal for food production is not new. In the Amazon Basin, unearthed areas have been found to contain layers of biochar that enriched the poor soils of these high rainfall regions. High rainfall in the tropics can leach or wash away key nutrients, especially bases such as Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, key elements for optimal plant growth, and these conditions are found in high rainfall areas of Molokai.…

Molokai Island Energy Project Update

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Princeton Energy News Release

Aloha! Princeton Energy Group and Half Moon Ventures want to express our gratitude to the Molokai community for welcoming us once again with great hospitality and warmth this past May. It was wonderful to visit with old friends, as well as develop new relationships on the island, as we continue to work together as partners on the Molokai Island Energy Project (formerly known as Ikehu Molokai). We held extensive community meetings throughout the island and received valuable feedback from residents. We continue to believe that the Molokai Island Energy Project will be accomplished by a long-term collaboration between community groups, residents, and the planning team.…

Fuel for Thought: Molokai’s Gas Prices

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Fuel for Thought: Molokai’s Gas Prices

Molokai’s gas prices are dropping–but still hover well above Hawaii’s average. Photos by Colleen Uechi.

Recently, many Hawaii residents have been breathing a sigh of relief at the gas pump. Across the state and the country, prices have dropped more than a dollar over the past year and are continuing to fall.

A year ago, gas prices in Hawaii averaged $4.21 cents a gallon, according to price-tracking website Prices are now at $2.89. The average throughout the U.S. is even cheaper, as prices have tumbled from $3.34 to $2.29 a gallon within the last year.

On Molokai, prices are also declining, but the overall rates are more than a dollar more expensive than rates on neighboring islands.…

Molokai Joins Opposition to NextEra Merger

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Molokai residents voiced largely opposition two weeks ago to a proposed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra, a Florida-based energy company. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is gathering public feedback on the proposed $4.3 million merger and will make a decision within the next six months. Molokai’s feedback, said Commission Chair Randall Iwase, has been in keeping with what they’ve heard so far around the state.

“The commission is not required to hold these sessions, but it was opinion of all three commissioners that it was important and appropriate to hear from the public,” said Iwase.

A majority of Molokai attendees testified that they opposed the merger.…

Vet Center Told ‘No Solar’

Friday, September 18th, 2015

MVCV News Release

The Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans (MVCV) has been looking into installing solar panels on the roof of the new Veterans Center. But vice commander Longie Dudoit who was trying to get quotes on the project has hit a road block and he has been told by Sun Electric that solar panels cannot be installed on Molokai at this time. This is a frustrating situation that we hope can be resolved soon. If you have any questions, please call the vet center at 553-8387. There will be a meeting regarding electricity in Hawaii and especially the proposed Hawaiian Electric merger with NextEra Energy on Saturday, Sept.…

County to Complete Utility Study

Friday, September 18th, 2015

County of Maui News Release

The County of Maui is moving forward with plans to a study on the electric utility options for the community, and results will be complete by mid-October. The study will examine alternate businesses models and whether the proposed NextEra merger is in the best interest of residents. The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development has selected an Oklahoma based firm to complete the study.

Guernsey, which had an Oahu office from 1999 to 2007, is an engineering, architectural and consulting firm which once worked with Hawaiian Electric and the U.S. Army when the military wanted to privatize its electrical systems on Oahu and Hawaii Island.…

NextEra’s Commitment to Hawaii

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Community Contributed

Opinion by Eric Gleason, President of NextEra Energy Hawaii

Gov. David Ige’s recent comments raised important questions about our pending merger and Hawaii’s clean energy future, questions that we continue to work diligently and transparently to address. We want to make our position clear and reiterate our full and unequivocal support of the State of Hawaii’s goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. We believe our proposed partnership with Hawaiian Electric provides the best path forward to achieving what is, without question, an aggressive, yet very attainable, goal. Together, we can get there.

The renewable energy law signed by Gov.…

Molokai Clean Energy Updates

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

I Aloha Molokai News Release

On Wednesday, May 27, I Aloha Molokai (IAM) reconvened a meeting of the partners that make-up the Molokai Clean Energy Initiative (MCEI).  This meeting was held at the request of those members of the MCEI that are involved in the Ikehu Molokai project being presented by Molokai Ranch and Princeton Energy.

The three-hour MCEI meeting included presentations by Cal Kobayashi and Tina Rasmussen from the County of Maui energy department, Steven Rymsha of MECO and Steve Tabor of Princeton Energy.  The presentations were followed by a lively discussion of all energy concepts offered for review.

The Princeton Energy presentation included its newest plan to construct a solar farm on Molokai Ranch property adjacent to the MECO power plant. …

Ikehu Molokai Meetings

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Ikehu Molokai News Release

The Ikehu Molokai planning team is excited to be returning to Molokai and hope that you can attend an Ikehu Molokai renewable energy project community meeting. Community meetings are scheduled for the week of May 24.  The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, May 23, 3 to 4 p.m. Manae Goods & Grindz (at the picnic table), informal discussion Tuesday, May 26, 6 to 8 p.m. Kilohana Community Center Wednesday, May 27, 6 to 8 p.m. Maunaloa Community Center Thursday, May 28, 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., Kalanianaole Hall Friday, May 29, 11 a.m.…

Study Alternatives for New Electric Utility Model

Friday, May 15th, 2015

County of Maui News Release

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced today it has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) to study the options available for a new electric utility model.

The $30,000 analysis is in response to the County’s concerns about the looming NextEra/Hawaiian Electric Industries merger before the Public Utilities Commission, and how it may affect area residents and businesses. The study will look at alternative forms of ownership and the alternative utility business models for Maui County’s electric utility company.

“We must look at our options, but to do that and have a constructive conversation about the matter we need more information,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa.…