I don’t live near the proposed wind power sites and seldom get to the west end. It is not my place to comment on the land use proposal. I am an electric customer so the interisland grid project is of interest.
Undersea cables are in use throughout the world. The fiber optic cable project a few years ago connects the five major islands in the state and included many undersea conduits. While construction was a bit disruptive, the project proceeded with little fuss.
The proposed interisland grid would connect all the power generating sources throughout the state. Excess power generated in one place can easily flow to where it is needed. The larger grid allows greater use of the variable renewable power sources. That’s good for the `aina.
The Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) web site states they serve 95 percent of the state’s residents. Three different names, but they own HECO, MECO and HELCO. The argument that Molokai would not receive any of the power generated by wind farms here is a bit thin. Electricity, once on an interisland grid, doesn’t care where it was generated. It will go where it is needed. Not part of the proposal but the time may come when it is cheaper to shut down the small, oil fired power station on Molokai and draw grid power for our use.
The proposal does mention reduced rates. Molokai electric rates are half again what Oahu customers pay. In my case, paying Oahu rates would save about $60/month.
An interisland grid that will save all Molokai electric users money sounds good to me. I can think of many better places to spend my $720/year savings.
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