Position on potential Molokai wind farm
Statement from Gov. Neil Abercrombie via Molokai Governor’s Volunteer Representative, Beverly Pauole Moore March 3, 2011 LINK
Producing our own energy in Hawaii is crucial for our survival. As I have stated in the past, the proposed “Big Wind” project that would produce electivity on Lanai and Molokai can be a critical part of the equation. It would be an important step in my stated goal of connecting our islands so that we can be more self-sufficient and sustainable. My support resolves around these principles:
- The wind projects must proceed in a way that produces benefits for the people and communities of those islands. These community benefits should help move the islands toward sustainable futures of their own. Because I expect those benefits to be substantial, I believe it is imperative that both islands – Molokai and Lanai – have the opportunity to participate.
- There are two factors I am looking for:
- The project must be financially and technically feasible. I am depending on the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and other related state agencies to make this determination.
- The project must represent the majority interests of residents of the respective islands. No individual or private interest should have the ability to veto the entire project because of their objections as long as their views are considered and discussed with respect.
- If the Molokai landowner is incapable of participating in a viable plan for the island, the state is willing to exercise its right (sic) to condemn lands for this public (sic) purpose, again, if residents agree that a project can be done in a pono way.
- My support for a project does not translate into support for any specific approach to the project by the electric utility, landowners, developers or any individual interest. My sole concern is the development of a project that maximizes benefits to the people of Hawaii.
The wind projects present an opportunity for us to unite around common purposes. Unfortunately, they have too often been the source of bitter disputes, accusations and division. Private interests too often overpower discussions that should be about the public interest.
Our islands have no choice but to move toward energy independence. Future generations will be the beneficiaries of those who are willing to work together today and make wise decisions that will stand the test of time.
2008 Walter Ritte works with First Wind to seize control of Molokai Ranch: Molokai Ranch: Protesters to Cash in with Takeover Plan? (When Ritte’s plan fell through and First Wind tried to do a deal with Molokai Ranch, Ritte suddenly began opposing Big Wind. What a transparent opportunist, eh?)
2008 La’au -- OHA’s Competing plan for Trustee Colette Machado to seize control of Molokai Ranch: Moloka`i activists seek control of ranch
Abercrombie: I am not a Socialist
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Molokai expels Wind Farm, Maui could be next Victim April 2
In light of a missed March 18 deadline to secure land for developing a 200-megawatt wind farm on Molokai, Boston-based First Wind is now hoping to develop the wind farm on Maui, according to First Wind spokesman John Lamontagne, in a statement to PBN.
Lamontagne said it was premature to speculate on how big of a wind farm could go on Maui.
The originally proposed Molokai wind farm is part of a larger wind project designed to bring 200 megawatts of wind energy from Molokai and 200 megawatts of wind energy from Lanai to Oahu. It’s commonly referred to as the “Big Wind” project.
A First Wind representative told PBN on Thursday that given the failed negotiations on Molokai, it was the company’s understanding that in accordance with the agreement between First Wind and Hawaiian Electric Co., no other company was permitted to come in and develop the wind farm on Molokai. In the past, HECO officials have told PBN that if the Molokai project fell through then Lanai could receive all 400 megawatts of wind energy.
(So why are we building a $1B Cable to Molokai????)
Nicholas told PBN that Molokai Ranch had chosen a new wind company, San Francisco-based Pattern Energy, as its preferred developer if the “Big Wind” project were to go forward on Molokai. Pattern Energy representatives held community meetings on Molokai in March.
RELATED: Hawaii Wind Developer tied to Largest-ever asset seizure by anti-Mafia police