Energy Festival Cancellation

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

IAM News Release

I Aloha Molokai (IAM) regrets to announce the cancellation of our third Alternative Energy Festival, scheduled for Jan. 14. We had hoped once again to host vendors, speakers, and vigorous public discussion of energy options for our island and our state. Recent confidential negotiations between Molokai Ranch, California wind developer Princeton Energy, Maui County and Maui Electric, however, have cast doubt on our ability to keep the Festival as transparent and neutral as the previous two.

These negotiations concern a proposed 25 megawatt solar farm with pumped hydro backup, to be placed on Molokai Ranch land above and below Manila Camp.…

Energy Festival Nixed Over Renewable Project Concerns

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Amid recent concerns over proposed renewable energy project Ikehu Molokai, I Aloha Molokai (IAM) has cancelled its third annual Renewable Energy Festival that was scheduled for January. The nonprofit feared the event would act as a showcase for Ikehu, falsely implying IAM’s endorsement of the project. While IAM leaders say they feel the project has potential for Molokai, they are not ready to support it based on what they consider to be a lack of public input.

“We do not want [the energy festival] to be used to help push a process that does not have community buy-in yet,” said Kanohowailuku Helm, president of IAM, a local nonprofit that supports community-based energy solutions, in an email to Maui County officials.…

Proposal Would Bring 100% Renewable Energy

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

A proposed renewable energy project for Molokai combines solar and stored hydroelectric power with the goal of 100 percent renewable energy for the island and lowered electric rates for local customers. The project, called Ikehu Molokai, is still in the early stages of discussion. It would be a joint endeavor between California-based Princeton Energy Group and landowner Molokai Ranch.

If completed, Molokai would become the first grid in the world to be converted completely to renewable energy, said Princeton CEO Steve Tabor.

“We were on sidelines for the Big Wind project [that proposed industrial wind turbines on Molokai], but we were kind of offended by the project — it was way out of scale,” said Tabor. …

$3.1M Battery Proposed for Power Plant

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

If you’ve noticed a lot of temporary electricity outages and lights dimming lately on Molokai, you’re not alone — and energy researchers have proposed a multi-million dollar project they hope will help stabilize the island’s electricity supply.

About one fifth of Molokai’s electricity comes from photovoltaic (PV) energy from business and residential solar panels, according to Mathew McNeff, Maui Electric manager of Renewable Energy Services Department. However, that high percentage is causing instabilities in the flow of electricity. Because energy generated from PV depends on conditions like the weather and daylight, it doesn’t provide a steady source of electricity to Molokai’s electric grid.…

Construction Career Day

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Construction Career Day

MECO News Release

Geared with pole climbers and lineman’s belt Dallas Arce, 15, of Molokai, pictured at left, receives instructions from Grant Barker, a lineman from Maui Electric Company. This was part of the Hawaii Construction Career Day 2013 at the University of Hawaii Maui College on Oct. 18. More than 600 high school and college students from Maui County attended the event, where numerous local companies volunteered to provide hands-on activities that showcased the various career options in the state’s growing construction industry.

County Awards Molokai Solar Projects

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

County of Maui News Release

Several county facilities on Molokai will soon be outfitted with rooftop solar panels, announced the County of Maui last week. After releasing a Request For Proposals (RFP), the county selected a group of companies led by Hawaii Pacific Solar LLC of Lahaina, Hawaii to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on community facilities around Maui County. The RFP included 18 sites on Molokai and Maui, including fire and police stations, water treatment plants, aquatic centers, community centers and other county facilities.

“We will save taxpayer dollars because our starting price is lower than the MECO [Maui Electric Company] rate,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa.…

Molokai Clean Energy Initiative: What’s Next

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

IAM News Release

Last week, we offered an update on the Molokai Clean Energy Initiative (MCEI), a forum for communities, organizations and other stakeholders to meet together, share ideas, and envision an affordable clean energy future for everybody. This is the conclusion of that update.

I Aloha Molokai (IAM) President Kanoho Helm saw early on that energy planning is closely linked with emergency preparedness. Without built-in redundancy and back up, no system is likely to function in a crisis. Several MCEI presenters alerted us to the fact that state disaster plans are incomplete, and that some statewide response sequences have not been established or tested.…

Molokai Electric Vehicle Movement

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Molokai transportation may recharge as eco-energy specialists and community members have begun brainstorming how to introduce more electric vehicles (EV), charging stations, and energy and cost efficient ways to power them on the island.

“Molokai is an absolutely perfect fit for electric vehicles,” said Ethan Elkind, an EV expert and climate policy associate from the University of California Berkeley School of Law.

Elkind met with Molokai residents last Wednesday to discuss the long process of increasing EV drivers on the island. They discussed some of the obstacles Molokai faces including lack of on-island EV dealers, charging stations, and costly energy rates, which inhibit large-scale EV adoption.…

Molokai Clean Energy Initiative

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

IAM News Release

After five productive meetings the time has come to bring the general public up to date on the Molokai Clean Energy Initiative, or MCEI. These monthly meetings are held at Kulana Oiwi here on Molokai. They are sponsored by I Aloha Molokai (IAM) and chaired by IAM President Kanohowailuku Helm. Our goal is to provide a forum for communities, organizations and other stakeholders to meet together, share ideas, and envision an affordable clean energy future for everybody.

IAM is a nonprofit, volunteer community organization, originally formed to oppose the Big Wind turbines slated for Molokai’s west end. Two years ago, Molokai Ranch approached us to discuss other issues of concern to the community.…

MECO Planned Kaluakoi Outages

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

MECO News Release

Maui Electric Company (MECO) will be scheduling periodic interruptions in electrical service for the Kaluakoi subdivision as part of a system improvement project to install new equipment in this community. Kaluakoi residences will be notified of specific dates and times of the outages via printed flyers delivered to their homes.

As part of this project, the periodic outages will be scheduled through October to replace several switchgears. A combination of electrical disconnect switches, fuses or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment, switchgears provide continued reliability of the electricity Maui Electric provides to customers.

Should there be any questions or concerns, please contact Maui Electric directly at 1-877-871-8461.…