West Molokai Association Opposes Big Wind/Undersea Cable Project
West Molokai Association News Release
The Board of Directors of the West Molokai Association (WMA), representing the owners of 811 West Molokai properties, has unanimously declared its “resolute opposition” to the proposed Big Wind industrial wind project and Hawaii Inter-Island undersea cable, and stated it will take whatever steps necessary to halt the project.
The project would cover 17 square miles of Molokai with industrial wind turbines 47 stories tall. It is being planned by HECO, Molokai Ranch, Pattern Energy and Bio-Logical Capital, and is backed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Noting that the project would “dramatically alter and irreversibly change West Molokai’s rural character and pastoral environment,” the Board’s resolution added that it would also result in increased electrical costs for Hawaiian residents, already among the highest in the United States. In fact, the law in question, SB 2785, recently signed by Gov. Abercrombie, allows HECO to raise homeowner rates through “an automatic rate adjustment clause” to pay for the undersea cable, currently estimated to cost $1 billion.
The project would entail, the resolution stated, the industrialization of West Molokai and Maunaloa, involving years of construction, dust and erosion, the building of miles of new roads, transmission lines, buried cables, inverter stations and other facilities on fragile lands sacred to Hawaiians and internationally known for their beauty and as habitats for rare and endangered species.
The project would also require, the Board said, the development of a deepwater port in sensitive coastal zones and high voltage cables across the Hawaiian National Humpback Whale Sanctuary and Molokai Reef, the world’s largest and most pristine coral reef north of Australia.
Responses from WMA property owners are running over 98 percent opposed to the project, with less than 1 percent in favor. Two surveys last year across Molokai found opposition first at 93 percent, which then grew to 97 percent, with again only 1 percent in favor.
The Board’s resolution added that the project would “severely reduce the numbers of birds, bats, seals, dolphins, whales, game fish and other wildlife, as well as the visual beauty and archaeological and cultural resources of West Molokai, all which provide great value to our members.”
WMA will work closely with I Aloha Molokai (IAlohaMolokai.com), a widely-supported Molokai citizens’ group that has been fighting the project for over a year, and with the residents of Maunaloa, which will be surrounded on two sides by the wind turbine towers.
WMA is a non-profit corporation organized to monitor the management, protection and preservation of its members’ properties on the Island of Molokai, and to promote the health, safety, and welfare of its members. The Board Resolution can be found on the WMA website wmahome.org.