Wind and Where?
On January 26, a mixed segment of the community attended a meeting called Hawaiians Ku`e. The pitch was to honor our kuleana (responsibility). There was also an introduction of state sanctioned governance called Aha Moku/Aha Kiole. In essence, it’s about community districts, from east to west Molokai, maintaining the natural resources of their areas by using a mix of ancient Hawaiian and modern practices. It is a good start to have this practice in our community (more fish, ophi, limu, native plants, water resources, etc.) and if successful, may become a model for the rest of state.
Next was a dialog about windmills and getting off the dependency of oil from the Mid-East. Lanai is a done deal and the plan is to build windmills. Some people in this state have said Molokai is also going to be a done deal and the 410 ft. towers are going to be put on the west end. Absent from the meeting was dialog from the land owner (Molokai Ranch) and the residents of the west end. This issue must be pono with Molokai’s people and environment to succeed.
Questions: What will Molokai get if windmills are built here? Who will be the go-to people? What will be the short, medium, and long term effect to Molokai’s people and environment? Who owns the underwater cable? Whose responsibility and liability is the cable? Remember the oil rig in the gulf – catastrophic.
There are various opinions and with honest dialog at the table, I’m sure Molokai people can come up with the right solutions. Maybe start with a solar farm in Pala`au next to Maui Electric to lower Molokai’s oil dependency first? Is a solar farm at Pala`au and Kalamaula less intrusive?
If the state was really serious about alternative energy, how about partnering with the federal government, military and all John Does to put those wind monsters on Kaho`olawe where wind and land is plentiful and there is no infringement on homeowners. Since the cable is already intended for Lanai, Kahoolawe is a doorstep away. Revenue can benefit all of Hawaii. Some might argue that Kahoolawe is rich with historic and cultural significance – I agree. But are they saying that Molokai and Lanai are less historical and culturally significant?