Lanai Group Asks Hawaii To Void Big Wind Deal04/28/2011
A Lanai community group that has opposed the development of a wind farm on that island this week asked the state to re-open the competitive bid process for the project.
In its petition to intervene [pdf] with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, Friends of Lanai said the original deal should be voided because the company that signed on to do the Molokai half of the project withdrew. Massachusetts-based First Wind was unable to strike a deal with landowner Molokai Ranch before a March deadline.
The organization has opposed Big Wind at every turn, including in an op-ed published on Civil Beat in January. The announcement of the request included numerous complaints about the project not directly related to the competitive bidding process.
"The entire process has been shrouded in secrecy. There has been no public discussion of costs, no responsible consideration of other means to meet the non-binding goals of the State's renewable portfolio standards, and no clarity on where the proposed undersea cable might surface on Oahu," Friends of Lanai spokesman Robin Kaye said in a press release [pdf]. "The process hasn't even determined from which islands the wind resources would be harvested. The rush to Big Wind should stop here and now."