Hawaii’s clean energy future may, or may not, come from wind power.
Based on public comment, the US Department of Energy is now studying a range of other options including solar, geothermal and hydroelectric.
The DOE started a series of public meetings tonight to inform the community about the different renewable areas they’re now looking at, and to get feedback.
In January 2008, the US Department of Energy announced it was teaming up with the State in the first-of-its-kind partnership.
The goal – to get 70% of Hawaii’s energy from renewables and energy efficiency by the year 2030.
Initially, energy leaders focused on wind power and an undersea cable. But now, that’s no longer the case.
“Based on the comments we got in the scoping period last year, we listened to those comments, we took them very seriously and basically they said you’re not looking broadly enough. you need to look at the whole state and all the options,” said Jane Summerson, US Department of Energy.
And here’s the slew of different technologies and activities they’re now looking at, and they cover all the major Hawaiian islands.
“We want comments from the public. Are these the right ones? Are there ones we’ve missed?” said Summerson.
As part of the process of preparing its draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, the DOE is holding public meetings.
“This PEIS is not about a specific technology or a specific location or a specific project. It’s looking at the complete range of clean energy technologies that could help fulfill the clean energy initiative,” said Jim Spaeth, US Department of Energy.
There’s long been opposition to the proposed wind turbines for Lanai.
And a group from Lanai flew over to Oahu for Tuesday’s meeting.
“So we just want to make it especially clear now to the federal government that we don’t want anything that will destroy our lands and our resources,” said Stacie Koanui Nefalar, Kupa’a no Lana’i.
Some of the environmental issues the DOE plans to take a look at for the PEIS are: cultural and historical resources, air quality, water resources, floodplains and wetlands, geology and soils, land and marine transportation, noise, utilities and infrastructure.
“We’re neutral. What we’re trying to do is educate the public and the Department of Energy about what potential environmental impacts any one of these could produce and about what the public input is on every one of these. It’s up to the State of Hawaii to make the decisions what is the way to go for the State of Hawaii,” said Summerson.
The DOE plans to issue the draft PEIS next year, then the final PEIS in 2014.
There will be seven more meetings throughout the state over the next week.
• September 12, 2012, 5:30-9:00 pm at Kaua’i, Kaua’i War Memorial Convention Hall, 4191 Hardy Street, Lihue
• September 13, 2012, 5:00-8:30 pm at Hawai’i, Kealakehe High School, 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, Kailua-Kona
• September 14, 2012, 5:00-8:30 pm at Hawai’i, Hilo High School, 556 Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo
• September 17, 2012, 5:30-9:00 pm at Maui, Pomaika’i Elementary School, 4650 South Kamehameha Avenue, Kahului
• September 18, 2012, 5:00-8:30 pm at Lna’i, Lna’i High & Elementary School, 555 Fraser Avenue, Lanai City
• September 19, 2012, 5:30-9:00 pm at Molokai, Mitchell Pau’ole Community Center, 90 Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai
• September 20, 2012, 5:00-8:30 pm at O’ahu, James B. Castle High School, 45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe
If you’d like to learn more about the Hawaii Clean Energy PEIS or submit testimony online, visit http://hawaiicleanenergypeis.com/
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