Not quite a year ago, this paper broke the story about Sempra’s plan for a massive expansion of the wind farm out in Kahikinui should the state of Hawaii ever build an proposed undersea power cable linking the islands of Maui and Oahu. In that story, I asked Doug McLeod, the County of Maui energy commissioner, what he thought of the odds of the cable actually going in:
“The main issue is whether the route goes through the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary,” he told me. “That may make it impossible.”
Like I said, that was about a year ago. This Wednesday, Feb. 19, McLeod and a host of other state officials and knowledgeable activists will speak about the proposed cable at a Kula Community Association meeting.
“Will Maui residents benefit with lower electricity rates?” was one of the questions listed on a KCA press release sent out on the meeting. “What energy production projects will need to be built on Maui? Are there environmental costs or benefits? Will all important decisions be made in Honolulu or will Maui residents and leaders have a say? Will electricity service become more or less reliable?”
Speakers at the meeting will include McLeod, Hawaii Public Utilities Commissioner Michael Champley, Hawaiian Electric’s Manager of System Planning Ross Sakuda and Life of the Land Executive Director Henry Curtis.
Mat McNeff from Maui Electric will also talk about the installation of solar PV panels on residential homes.
The meeting starts at 7pm on Wednesday, Feb. 19, and takes place at the Kula Community Center (East Lower Kula Road).
Photo: Tony Boon/Wikimedia Commons