Molina Seeks Approval For Small Wind Energy Systems On Maui

January 5, 2010, 3:00 PM HST · Updated January 5, 3:00 PM
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Posted by Wendy Osher

Maui Council Vice Chair Michael J. Molina sent legislation to the Council today that would allow individuals across the county to install their own small wind energy systems to produce electricity for personal use.

Council Vice Chair Michael Molina seeks to empower the community to use alternative energy solutions at home with new legislation. File Photo by Wendy Osher.

Council Vice Chair Michael Molina seeks to empower the community to use alternative energy solutions at home with new legislation. File Photo by Wendy Osher.

The small energy systems are electric generators, rated at 100 kilowatts or less, that utilize wind energy to produce clean, emissions-free power for individual homes, farms, and small businesses.

The bill specifically seeks permission for the installation of such wind energy systems within all zoning districts of Maui County.

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“Statistics from the American Wind Energy Association indicate that a household that installs a small wind energy system could lower their electricity bill by 50 to 90 percent,” said Molina.

Under President Barack Obama’s “New Energy for America” plan, the nation seeks to save more oil over the next ten years with a goal of obtaining 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.

“In an effort to help meet the goals set by President Obama, we must empower our residents to take the initiative to utilize alternative energy,” said Molina.

Details of the draft bill are as follows:

  1. Permit the installation of small wind energy systems in all zoning districts.
  2. Require that small wind energy systems that are above the height limits in the district obtain a special use permit.
  3. Permits the sale of excess energy generated beyond what is necessary for on-site consumption.
  4. Set development and setback standards for installation
  5. Establish sound limitations not to exceed sixty decibels
  6. Provide guidelines for application requirements
  7. Set requirements and procedures for abandon or inoperable small wind energy systems.

The proposed bill was sent the Maui County Council today for referral to the appropriate Council Committee for deliberation.

“The Draft legislation will accomplish many goals in relation to the environment and the economy,” said Molina.  “ It will be a cushion against potentially high fuel costs, provide a clean alternative energy source, help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and assist with the reduction of home electricity bills,” said Molina.

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