Hawaii Undersea Power Grid Routes Mapped


December 18, 2009

Researchers from the University of Hawaii were contracted in June to survey the ocean floor between the Hawaiian Islands to find the best routes for undersea power cables. The project involves connecting cables between Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, and Maui. Nine routes were recommended last week.

The report from UH had a price tag of $1.5 million. Its purpose is to get the islands onto one electrical grid, which would allow the transmission of renewable energy generated in Maui County to Oahu. The cable is expected to be at least thirty miles long and able to transfer 400 megawatts of power.

The UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology conducted the study. Having taken distance, cost, potential impact on wildlife and proximity to existing submarine cables into account, they recommend four of the nine routes.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism has already begun looking for bids from companies to conduct an environmental impact study based on the UH report for the project.

When all is said and done, this project is expected to cost anywhere between $800 million and $1 billion. The DBEDT stated that ultimately, it will be paid for by utility customers and taxpayers, but they are looking for alternative financing as well.

The state intends to connect the two 200-megawatt wind farms planned for Molokai and Lanai to Oahu in support of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.

For new developments on Maui, we recommend a look at the wonderful Lanikeha project. For vacant land sales, check the Kaanapali Golf Estates. There are also some very nice Puamana Condos for sale. Remember, if you have any questions not answered on our website, you can call (800) 367-5632 or email us at . We would love to assist you. Mahalo!

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