Hawaii State Energy Office Administrator Mark Glick said Tuesday that the 200-megawatt portion of the so-called “Big Wind” project on Lanai isn’t essential for helping the state reach its renewable energy goal.
Glick told PBN that the planned $1 billion undersea cable project, which would connect Oahu to Maui and the Big Island, but not Molokai and apparently not Lanai, is about to get some traction soon.
That’s because the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission is expected to be outlining a plan for the cable project in the coming weeks, Glick said.
“We believe it is essential and want to see it move ahead,” he said. “State policy is clear on this, [as] we believe that the Oahu and Maui grid tie is a crucial element to stabilize and reduce rates, as well as create a larger, more robust grid to accommodate the greatest amount of renewable energy penetration.”
Glick also pointed out that the state thinks it would be appropriate to have geothermal support from the Big Island to support this overall interconnection.
Meantime, Castle & Cooke, which kept the rights to build the planned 200-megawatt wind farm on Lanai after CEO David Murdock sold his interest in the island to Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison, remains committed to the project, a company spokesman told PBN in May.
Earlier this year, Molokai Ranch decided against having a wind farm on its land, which took the Friendly Isle’s 200-megawatt portion of Big Wind up off the table.
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