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Thursday, June 22, 2023
June 22, 2023 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:09 PM :: 1539 Views

Green Pours Millions into Housing

Green Signs Ten Housing Bills

New XO at HI-EMA

Governor’s budget cuts were ‘really good thing’ for Hawaii

Hawaii finances ‘unsustainable’ without economic growth

HECO’s Fake grid plan--Only the Rate Hikes are Real

SA: … In a May 21 Star-Advertiser editorial about Hawaiian Electric Co.’s final Integrated Grid Plan (IGP), mention was made of 100 pages of comments from more than 300 community members. Great! But what was the nature and significance of these comments, HECO’s response, and updates to the draft IGP?

In her video transmittal of the IGP to customers, HECO CEO Shelee Kimura stated, “We heard that affordability and reliability are the top concern and interest to our customers.” Interesting that there was no mention of the third corner of the energy pyramid, “green” power….

Two substantive issues arose during the IGP process. First, HECO wisely recognized that 20,000 acres for utility solar farms may not be workable due to competing land use priorities, cost considerations, permitting issues and community pushback. Thus, a land-constrained scenario reduced projected solar farm power generation in 2045 from 53% of total generation to 21% — a significant 32-percentage-point swing.

Second, community pushback to large offshore wind farms was significant, with the IGP citing “numerous public comments received in regards to offshore wind.” In addition, the IGP’s Technical Advisory Panel astutely noted “the high degree of technological, cost, and regulatory/siting uncertainty for future offshore wind development” and thus the need for the source-of-power mix to exclude offshore wind. HECO responded with a scenario in which the 22% of energy production from offshore wind in the 2045 base plan goes away.

But where will the energy come from to make up for the combined 54 percentage-point differential? First, an assumption that HECO will burn costly biofuel as a source of power generation — up from 3% to 18% of the total. Second, a startling assumption that customer-based solar will comprise 55% of Oahu’s energy needs in 2045 vs. 17% in the base plan. Is this because there was no other viable option to meet the legislative mandate away from fossil fuels?

Currently, 37% rooftop penetration equates to just over 14% of total electricity generation. We should absolutely continue to encourage more rooftop solar panels in already-urbanized Oahu. But even assuming an unlikely doubling of rooftop penetration, this would amount to 28% of total generation. How could this percentage possibly increase to 55%? Is this a hot potato where HECO, for lack of a better alternative, punts the challenge of 100% renewable energy to its ratepayers? As if to say, “Here, you do it, there must be room on your rooftops for more solar panels.” That can hardly be called planning….

read … Integrated grid plan faces challenges of cost and reliability

He Was A Solar Industry Advocate. Now He’s On The PUC. That Doesn’t Sit Well With Hawaiian Electric

CB: … Hawaiian Electric has raised concerns that one of three members on the state Public Utilities Commission may have a personal and professional “partiality or bias” due to his history of advocating for the solar industry.

Colin Yost, a lawyer who joined the commission last October, has a background as a businessman and solar energy proponent. But he denies that he has any conflicts and says he acts fairly and impartially.  

The matter has been brewing for months with back-and-forth letters between the electric utility and the commission….

In December, Hawaiian Electric sent a letter to the PUC saying it did not question Yost’s intention to be fair and impartial in a case before the commission involving integrated grid planning. But the utility wondered if he could really do so given his 12-year history of advocating before the PUC on behalf of solar industry players, including the Hawaii PV Coalition, Hawaii Solar Energy Association and Blue Planet Foundation.

“Given Commissioner Yost’s personal and professional relationships with these parties, an objective person might reasonably have cause to perceive an appearance of partiality or bias,” wrote Kevin Katsura, Hawaiian Electric’s director of regulatory non-rate proceedings.

In November, Yost wrote a letter saying he would recuse himself for six months from a docket called Performance-Based Regulation, which sets a framework of penalties, rewards and incentives on Hawaiian Electric’s performance at meeting established targets.

Yost said he would refrain from signing any orders or participating in any decision-making discussions on the matter and would “remain in the background.”…

IM: Public Utilities Commission Ethics

read … He Was A Solar Industry Advocate. Now He’s On The PUC. That Doesn’t Sit Well With Hawaiian Electric

Free Money from the Sky: Native Hawaiians get most federal Funding Ever

SA: … Bipartisan staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs were at the first Western Regional Native Hawaiian Convention held in Las Vegas to highlight that Congress has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in dedicated federal funding, the most ever, for Native Hawaiians and to seek input on amending legislation to extend protection to Native Hawaiian art and artists for the first time.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, was not at the convention but addressed attendees in a video Wednesday and told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in an email, “Over the last few years, we delivered the largest amount of dedicated funding to the Native Hawaiian community ever.” ….

read … Native Hawaiians weigh in on federal funds, protections

Hawaii’s Critical Data Is At Risk From Flooding. So Why Hold it Hostage to Dela Cruz’ Tech Park Scheme?

CB: …State officials say the Hawaii Office of Enterprise Technology Services’ data center, located in the basement of the state Kalanimoku Building on Punchbowl Street, is vulnerable to flooding and cyber attacks. But there appears to be no clear “Plan B” after Gov. Josh Green rejected a proposal to move the data center to a proposed but not yet built tech center in Mililani….

read … Hawaii’s Critical Data Is At Risk From Flooding. So Why Wait To Move It?

4 HPD officers involved in 2021 Makaha crash drop request for taxpayer-funded lawyers

KHON: … The four Honolulu Police Department officers who were charged in connection with a 2021 crash in Makaha that injured six people have withdrawn their request for the city to provide legal representation….

Trial for all four officers is now scheduled for Aug. 21….

CB: The department's Professional Standards Office has completed its investigation into the incident.

read … 4 HPD officers involved in 2021 Makaha crash charged

16-Time Loser Racks up #18 and #19 While Awaiting Trial for #17

SA: …William Robertson-Kapoo was arrested Tuesday at about 12:30 p.m. on suspicion of two counts of first-degree robbery. He allegedly pulled a gun on a 55-year-old woman and a 57-year-old male during the robberies of the two stores, police said.

… He has 16 arrests and citations dating back to 2008. He is currently facing a car theft charge and has a calendar call in that case scheduled for Jun. 27. He entered a plea of not guilty in that case….

read … Man arrested in alleged robbery of two 7-Eleven stores in Kahaluu

57% recidivism to Hawaii’s prisons

KITV: … In one year, an estimated 15,000 people are booked into local jails and prisons throughout Hawaii.

“From 1978 to 2021, out of those years I was inside for 20 and the other 20 I was out on the street,” said former Halawa inmate Charles Mailo….

Data from a 2019 Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) report revealed that recidivism in Hawaii as over 57%….

“We have backpacks filled with goodies for them. We have bus passes, cell phones,” said Patterson….

read … Group aims to decrease recidivism to Hawaii’s prisons

Maui County Bill to regulate air and replica guns advances

MN: … “The thing we’re trying to limit is people carrying these around parks,” said MPD Lt. Grant Nakamura of the Crime Reduction Unit, who was instrumental in drafting the measure. “Right now, any person, a fugitive or a felon, can carry one of these air rifles, .50-caliber air rifles, through the park, and there’s nothing we can do about it — it’s not a crime right now.”

However, it would be a crime starting Nov. 1 if Bill 169 passes the full council. Replica guns, Paltin pointed out, “can look a lot” like the real thing….

Between January 2020 and March 2021, more than 25 air guns or replica guns along with 99 illegal firearms, 24 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, two pounds of heroin and more than $350,000 have been recovered by the Crime Reduction Unit, Nakamura said.

Every case involving air or replica guns has been tied to possession and/or distribution of narcotics, and most of the individuals involved are felons.

“We want to limit that and keep it safe for everybody,” he added.

An air gun, under the proposed bill, would mean any instrument designed to expel a pellet or BB shot using compressed air or gas or through a spring or elastic action. This does not include firearms….

Big Q: With the recent shootings on the West Side, do you worry about gun violence increasing in Hawaii?

read … Bill to regulate air and replica guns advances

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