Thursday, December 09, 2010


My Way or the Highway

By Henry Curtis

DBEDT has just released an Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice (EISPN) for its long anticipated undersea electric transmission line connecting giant wind farms on Moloka`i and Lana`i to O`ahu.

According to DBEDT, there is no silver bullet in decreasing Hawaii's oil dependency -- a portfolio of renewable and energy efficiency is needed -- BUT this wind proposal must be part of the solution.

Their approach can be summed up by expressions such as "My Way or the Highway"  *  "There Is No Alternative (TINA)"  *  "I'm right and you're wrong"

Furthermore, although an EIS is mandated to look at alternatives, and although DBEDT has assured the public that the EIS will look at alternatives, in fact, the EIS will not examine any other alternative except the preferred solution.

The preferred solution is to build 100-200 wind towers on Lana`i and Moloka`i. (each as tall as the First Hawaiian Bank)

This EIS is a self-serving document designed to keep Hawai`i hostage to distant power plants and massive new transmission lines instead of focusing on distributed generation which is the road to sustainability.

Henry Curtis

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The Kamaoa windmill farm was in installed at South Point of the Big Island in 1986 to produce 7.5 megawatts of electric power. By 2006 the the rusting dilapidated site was shut down. Centralized windmill farms will not be a reasonable solution for Hawaii. Distributed solar energy (for hot water and photo-voltaic electricity as well as demand destruction) is the way forward in Hawaii. I spoke to a table full of Aha Moku Council representatives from Lanai about the proposed windmills. They were all against the idea.

This idea that state officials on Oahu can dictate to the outer islands what they should do to keep Oahu happy reminds me of the attempt to jam the Superferry down our throats for the convenience of SUV's full of Mililani opihi pickers.

Obviously, Oahu is running up against the ugly reality of overpopulation and resource/infrastructure inadaquacies... so much will have to change there in the next few years. Enabling them to continue on their present course by plundering the outer islands won't be very acceptable.

The undersea cables are expected to cost between $1 billion and $2billion to the taxpayers of Hawai'i.

With that money, one could put solar hot water heaters on every single house on Oahu. It is estimated that a solar hot water heater saves 40% of the typical Hawai'i electric bill.

The undersea cables will deliver energy that offsets 15% of Oahu's electric load.

The numbers aren't comparable because the 15% is off the entire island electric use and the 40% savings is from residential use. But I have to think that when you adjust these numbers we'd see that using the money to directly benefit the taxpayers (instead of producing $250,000,000/year income for Rupert Murdock) would offset the same amount of electricity and put that $250,000,000/year in the pockets of our residents.

This scheme by Gov. Lingle is a rip-off of both the taxpayers who are subsidizing this private for-profit operation and the rate-payers whose rates will go up.

Wind energy, done right, LOWERS costs. This is wind energy done WRONG.

See for Lana'i residents who oppose the wind farm. I think they go a little overboard but the crux of their case is valid. They appear to have grabbed hold of some bogus info opposing wind energy in general with which I disagree and I certainly don't agree that nuclear is anything that should be considered at all...but the rest of the info is pretty good.

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