Hawaii Plans Billion Dollar Undersea Cable to Bring Wind Power to Oahu

honolulu aerial photo

photo: tata_aka_T via flickr

Being pretty much smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it's no great secret that Hawaii is utterly dependent on imported energy. But it's also looking to change that, hoping to develop 400 MW of wind farms on the islands of Molokai and Lanai. The trouble is getting the electricity from these islands to where the majority of the state's population lives, on the island of Oahu. Which is where the undersea cable--the first planned solely to transmit renewable energy--comes in.As Greentech Media explains, though there are some concerns over the visual impact of these wind farms--set to occupy more than 12,000 acres of land--the biggest concern right now is financial:

The cable alone is estimated to cost around at least $1 billion, so really it comes down to cost. So far, [Joshua Strickler, with Hawaii's Clean Energy Initiative] said that all of their models have found that investment would ultimately benefit ratepayers, but they will continue to crunch the numbers to see if it makes financial sense before moving forward. Bringing wind power on will also require updates to Oahu's power grid, but Strickler said the figures seem to make sense. He estimated that his department will have a decision on the initial phase of the project in the next six months.

Read more: Hawaii Weights Undersea Cable to Deliver Wind Power
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US Approves First Offshore Wind Farm
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