The Molokai Governor’s Advisory Council met last Tuesday at Kulana ‘Oiwi Center to hear a proposal from UPC Wind. The company would like to erect windmills on Homestead land on the West End, and has been traveling to community groups all over the island for the past several weeks. The group says that it will not go forward with its proposal without community support of the project.
The scope of questions at the meeting ranged from aviation concerns – the proposed site is in line with the landing area at Ho’olehua airport – to the ultimate disposal of the presumably dilapidated windmills at the end of their life expectancy, about 20 years from the date of installation.
UPC says that it will ultimately remove all parts of the windmill that appear above ground and at least four feet of the cement block that holds the windmill in place below ground. The company will also do a flight study, per air traffic management guidelines.
Company representative Noelani Kalipi says that in the best case, the wind farm could generate 10 percent of Molokai’s electricity, but in general the power would go to Oahu. “Because of the engineering, the windmills can only provide 10 to 20 percent of the grid,” she said.
By Kate Gardiner
22 October 2007
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