Learning Tech Together

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Learning Tech Together

Sixth graders build solar-powered cars in class during the Tech Together program. Photos by Bianca Moragne.

Huddled outside in the hot sun, Kaunakakai Elementary sixth grade students raced solar-powered toy cars that they built in the classroom as part of the two-week Tech Together: Ka Ulu Ana Program.

Tech Together is a 10-day in-class program that delivers science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, to sixth grade students statewide through stimulation and interactive activities. Three Molokai schools, Kaunakakai, Kualapu`u and Kilohana, participated in the program this year with a curriculum focused on renewable and non-renewable energy technology, sustainability and the correlation between Hawaii culture and energy needs, said Vaito`i Tuala, Trainer Two, or lead classroom instructor, when she visited Molokai two weeks ago.…

Electric Co. Proposes Demand Response Program

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Hawaiian Electric News Release

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are proposing a portfolio of programs to provide customers more options for saving on their electric bills while supporting the adoption of more clean energy, reducing the use of more expensive fossil-fueled generation and relieving stress on the electric grid.

The programs are outlined in the utilities’ Integrated Demand Response Portfolio Plan filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recently.

The plan lays out new and enhanced “demand response” programs for residential, commercial, industrial and water pumping customers. Under the programs, customers receive financial incentives for shifting energy use to certain times of the day or voluntarily allowing the output of certain appliances or equipment to be adjusted if necessary to help maintain reliable service for our island grids.…

Hikiola Goes Solar

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Hikiola Goes Solar

ProVision Solar News Release

The Hikiola Cooperative in Ho`olehua has installed a 12-kilowatt grid-connected solar array that will provide almost all of the power needed to run the coop.  First organized in 1976 as a farm supply and marketing cooperative, Hikiola shifted to making supplies available to both farmer-members and the greater community.  Paying one of the highest rates for electricity in the nation (52 cents/kilowatt-hour this month), small businesses on Molokai have more than ample incentive to go solar electric.

“We are thrilled with the installation of the PV system,” said the Coop’s long-time manager Tina Tamanaha. “The use of alternative energy is a positive step in our mission to lower the cost of supplies for our agri-business patrons.”

Marco Mangelsdorf, President of ProVision Solar, and the installer of the Net Energy Metered photovoltaic system, noted that “with the abundant sunshine on this part of the island, the system should really crank out the solar kWhs. …

Engaging the Community

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Community Contributed

By Barbara Haliniak

I am not a renewable energy expert.  But I do know that when you want to be successful in executing an island plan, make sure you get the community involved in the planning stages.  Otherwise you will probably run across many challenges that could have been prevented by not being inclusive.  This column is not to debate renewable energy for our island, but to speak loudly on the exclusion of important information regarding projects that will affect all households prior to community meetings or introduction of legislative bills.

This legislative session, House Bill 1942, “Authorizes the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds to assist Princeton Energy Group or Princeton Energy Group’s related entity, Ikehu Molokai LLC, with financing and refinancing costs relating to the planning, design, and construction of a renewable energy project with energy storage technology on the island of Molokai.”  The special purpose revenue bonds totaled $50 million; the ACT has an effective date of July 1, 2014 and lapse date of June 30, 2019.  …

Molokai Energy Assessment  

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Sust`aina ble Molokai News Release

Sust` aina ble Molokai has published the second piece in our Molokai-pedia project the Molokai Energy assessment. This assessment follows Agricultural Needs Assessment that helped to inform the needs in the community for food security and farmer economic security.

Due to  the information gathered, we are able  to pursue the development  of a Molokai Food hub  that will be able to help local farmers gain access to  local markets on island,  help our students  by gaining access  to local food through the cafeteria and eventually establishing off island markets for our farmers  long term economic security.…

Facing Climate Change, Part III

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Emillia Noordhoek

Editor’s Note: Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust`ainable Molokai, traveled to Europe to attend the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year. This is the third in a three-part series about the Panel’s conclusions and how global climate change will affect Molokai and the world.

Samso is an island off the coast of Denmark in the Baltic Sea that is 16 miles long by four miles wide, with a total area of 44 square miles.  The island’s electricity is powered 100 percent by renewable energy and they are connected to the mainland by a cable to sell the over-production to the rest of the grid.…

Undersea Cable Still On the Table for Some Islands

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

State and federal energy officials got a clear message from Molokai residents who voiced their continued opposition to a potential undersea transmission cable in Hawaii that would transport energy interisland.

“I’m totally pro-renewable energy which is why I’m very concerned and upset by this document,” said Molokai resident and energy expert Mike Bond, referring to the Hawaii Clean Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). “The one thing that concerns me the most is the tacit acceptance of the undersea cable… I think the cable is a disaster — it’s hyper-costly, and in my view, a political, corporate scam.”

The PEIS is a 1,000-page-plus document that analyzes potential environmental impacts associated with a wide variety of clean energy technologies and activities across the state.…

Small Changes for Better Electric Service

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Small Changes for Better Electric Service

At Molokai’s Maui Electric Pala`au Power Plant, there’s a room filled with panels of switches, dials and screens. There, an operator who works 24/7, keeping Molokai’s lights on. There’s a constant hum inside the control room from the plant’s 13 huge diesel generators.

“We’re attuned to this noise,” said electrician Brian Tachibana. “If it changes at all, these guys will pick it up.”

Slight changes in frequency could mean a drop or surge in power, which require minute adjustments in settings by the operator.

They also watch the clocks – not so they can tell when their eight-hour shift is up, but as a way to monitor the frequency being generated.…

Energy Assistance Program

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

MEO Molokai News Release

June is the only month that the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program is offered and MEO Molokai will be taking applications June 2-30, Monday through Fridays except on June 11.  We ask that if anyone is interested to please pick up a brochure that is posted in town or at MEO office at the end of Kolapa Place.

Give us a call at 553-3216 to make an appointment and please gather all your required documents before coming to your appointment.

Report from the Lines

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Report from the Lines

Have you noticed a lot of Henkles & McCoy trucks lately working on Kaunakakai’s power lines? That’s because the company has a contract from Maui Electric to improve the Kaunakakai electric circuit. The work is scheduled to last until August.

Henkles & McCoy (H&M) workers are replacing distribution wires, updating transformers and replacing power poles, said H&M Power Superintendent John Gladden. Currently, the wires are copper and they’re old — Gladden demonstrated snapping the wire with one hand. The new distribution lines will be made of aluminum.

They’re about a quarter of the way finished with the line replacement, and have already laid about 5,500 feet of new wire, said Gladden.…