Hawaii PUC Denies Molokai 'Big Wind' Deal

Castle & Cooke

UPDATED 7/18/11 3:26 p.m.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has thrown a wrench into plans for the state's most ambitious wind energy project.

A decision by regulators Thursday blocks an agreement between Molokai Ranch and San-Francisco-based Pattern Energy to develop 200 megawatts of wind energy on Molokai from proceeding.

The ruling throws into question how the 400 megawatt “Big Wind” project that aims to bring energy from Molokai and Lanai to Oahu through undersea cables will proceed.

The project could supply about 20 percent of Oahu’s electricity needs, according to the state energy office, and is considered a major part of Hawaiian Electric’s plan to transition to renewable energy.

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