Lānaʻi Wind Project Expected to Surface at Public Meetings

September 17, 2012, 8:41 AM HST · Updated September 17, 1:39 PM
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The photo above show Maui’s first windfarm project, the Kaheawa Windfarm, located in Maalaea. A separate Auwahi wind project in Ulupalakua is currently under construction and is designed to capture wind resources on the other side of Maui’s isthmus along the Slopes of Haleakala. Other wind projects that have been discussed for Maui County include a proposed project on Lana’i which has been met with controversy over potential transport of wind energy off-island. Aerial photography by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The US Department of Energy hosts a public scoping meeting in Kahului tonight to discuss alternative energy projects that support the state in its goal of achieving 70% clean energy by 2030.

A group opposed to the construction of windmills on the island of Lānaʻi and the transport of energy off island, are among those that plan to testify at the meeting.

The non-profit Friends of Lānaʻi organization has posted a message on its facebook page saying renewable energy should not include an industrial wind power plant on Lānaʻi’s North End, built to power O’ahu’s demands for more electricity.

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The US DOE is taking public comment on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Hawai’i Clean Energy, and will be accepting testimony through October 9, 2012.

Officials are trying to establish guidance in future funding decisions to support the state in achieving its clean energy goals.

The Hawai‘i Clean Energy PEIS will also analyze the potential environmental impacts of clean energy activities and technologies in the following clean energy categories: (1) Energy Efficiency, (2) Distributed Renewables, (3) Utility-Scale Renewables, (4) Alternative Transportation Fuels and Modes, and (5) Electrical Transmission and Distribution.

The State of Hawai‘i and the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are cooperating agencies in preparing this PEIS.

Public scoping meetings are planned at the following times and locations:

  • Monday September 17, 5 p.m. at Pōmaikaʻi Elementary School, Maui
  • Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 5 p.m. at Lāna‘i High & Elementary School, Lāna‘i
  • Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 5:30 p.m. at the Mitchell Pau‘ole Community Center, Moloka’i

The state’s first attempt at the PEIS in 2010, focused solely on Wind Energy and the Hawai’i Interisland Renewable Energy Program.

In response to public scoping comments at the time, as well as regulatory and policy developments since the meetings, the US DOE has decided to broaden the range of energy efficiency and renewable energy activities and technologies to be analyzed in the PEIS.

Individuals and groups who cannot attend the meetings, can still provide public commentary via:

  • Internet at: http://hawaiicleanenergypeis.com/
  • Email at: [email protected]
  • Fax at: (808) 541-2253, attention: Hawai’i Clean energy PEIS
  • US mail addressed to: Jim Spaeth, US Department of Energy, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., PO Box 50247, Honolulu, HI 96850-0247.
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