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.…

Ikehu Molokai Project Update

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Ikehu Molokai News Release

As most Molokai residents know, the Ikehu Molokai project has been proposed to convert the island’s electricity to 100 percent renewable energy.  The project aims to bring down the cost of electricity, stabilize the grid, make the grid able to absorb more rooftop solar systems, make Molokai self-sufficient in energy and more in control of its energy future, and create jobs.  The Ikehu Molokai project will produce electricity for Molokai only, with no connection to a cable or export to other islands.

The Ikehu Molokai team has been working on the design and financing of the project. …

Energy Education with Big Goals

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Energy Education with Big Goals

K-12 teachers attended an workshop earlier this month to learn how better educate students in energy conservation. Photo by Catherine Cluett

Molokai High junior Sarah Jenkins hopes that her senior project will take an island-wide trend of energy awareness and conservation to the next level. She said she thinks teaching Molokai’s youth about energy literacy is a good place to start, and on March 1, teachers from around the island participated in an energy education workshop with that very goal.

In a series of workshops offered statewide in collaboration between Hawaii Energy, a ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program, and National Energy Education Development (NEED), nearly 20 Molokai teachers from elementary through high school levels learned how to better educate their students on energy topics.…

Renewable Energy Proposal Changes Direction

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Ikehu Molokai — the project proposed jointly by Princeton Energy and Molokai Ranch with the goal of lowering the island’s electricity rates and creating a 100 percent renewable energy source – has changed directions since its inception. Steve Taber, the CEO of California-based company Princeton, now says after community concerns, plans do not include the stored hydro energy system above Manila Camp originally proposed.

Taber said now that meetings have been held with Manila Camp residents and other groups around the island, two major concerns arose with the company’s project. The original intention involved installation of nearly 100 acres of solar panels, an approximately 10-acre water reservoir, and a pumping and turbine station located above or near Manila Camp.…

Free Energy Education Workshops for Teachers

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Hawaii Energy News Release

This spring, Hawaii Energy is offering free, one-day workshops with tools and resources for Hawaii’s teachers to learn about and teach energy efficiency in the classroom. The Molokai workshop will be held on March 1 at Molokai High School from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Teachers of all subjects from Kindergarten –through 12th grade are welcome to attend.  There are two types of workshops. One is Energy Education that teaches the concepts of force, motion, light, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism and energy transformations. The other is Building Science, aimed at helping students learn how buildings can become more energy-efficient through various measures such as lighting inspections, measuring electricity plug loads and taking temperature readings.…

Ikehu Molokai Energy Project Update

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Ikehu Molokai News Release

Mahalo to the Molokai community for your many expressions of support for the Ikehu Molokai project. Thanks also for the many comments and feedback on the project.  Among other things, we have heard concerns about impacts on the Manila Camp neighborhood if the project is located there, visual and wildlife impacts from possible wind turbines in the west end, impacts on water from use of the reservoirs.

We have also heard that the basic goals of the project are very welcome on Molokai.  These goals include rate relief, grid stability, island self-sufficiency, leaving plenty of room for more rooftop solar, and energy emergency preparedness. …

Power Outages Unexplainable

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Maui Electric Company representatives visited Molokai last week to discuss a series of power outages on the island over the last year and explain their cause — or rather, to call them unexplainable.

There were 16 major outages on Molokai between Jan. 6 and Dec. 22, 2013, according to Joe Kentz, manager of Maui Electric’s transmission and distribution department. Three of those, not including a fourth in January of this year, have no identifiable cause.

“We really can’t explain what’s going on,” said Kentz. “I’ve been in this industry for 43 years and I’ve always been able to find the cause of a problem… We will find cause.…