Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Sept. 6, 2013

Hannah's Makana `Ohana travels to Kona to participate in the Kupuna Hula Festival next week. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC CO., OF WHICH HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY on the Big Island is a subsidiary, announced that it is making procedures “easier, faster and less expensive for customers seeking to add rooftop solar photovoltaic systems, while continuing to ensure safe and reliable service for all customers.”
Scott Seu
      Solar installations in Hawai`i have doubled yearly since 2008 and are on track to double or nearly so in 2013, according to Scott Seu, HECO’s vice president for energy resources and operations. With more than 32,000 PV systems installed with a capacity of more than 240 megawatts interconnected, Hawai`i utilities lead the nation in solar watts per customer and in the percentage of customers who have rooftop solar, he said. “It’s a big contributor to achieving our state’s renewable energy goals, and we know it’s an important option for our customers to help reduce their electric bills.
      “At the same time, as our customers add more solar systems, circuits on all islands are reaching the level of PV that requires added care to maintain safety and reliability for all customers. But with additional studies and more experience, we are making changes to minimize the times when an interconnection study may be needed and making it as easy as possible for customers in cases when a study is needed.”
      HECO is changing the threshold so more small systems consisting of 10 kilowatts and under can be added without a potentially costly and time-consuming interconnection study. The new threshold for a possible interconnection study is 100 percent of the daytime minimum circuit load, increased from 75 percent. In addition, Hawaiian Electric is doing a limited number of studies on several representative circuits and will apply the results to as many projects as possible on similar circuits. Previously, each project requiring a study would have to go through its own separate study. “This new approach will greatly reduce the number of studies needed and reduce costs to customers,” Seu said. 
      Customers, or contractors on their behalf, should provide a name, address and proposed PV system size in kilowatts to the utilities by calling 969-0358 or emailing lvm@helcohi.com.
      In this way, a customer or contractor can get the most up-to-date status of the circuit on which they propose to add a solar project. Depending on how much PV is on the circuit, the utility may perform a supplemental review at the utility’s expense to determine if a more extensive study is required. Customers or contractors must still submit and get approval for a completed net metering application to connect to the grid and get the financial benefits of net metering.
      “We want to avoid the situation where our customer signs a contract for PV or starts installation and later learns about added costs for studies or circuit upgrades because the circuit already has a high amount of PV,” said Seu. “We are making changes to make adding solar faster, cheaper and fairer, but we do ask customers to call so they have the most current information when making a decision about a very big financial investment in improving their homes or businesses.
      “As we continue to monitor circuits and do representative studies, we anticipate that it will be possible in the future for even more small systems to go forward without an interconnection requirements study,” Seu said.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE U.S. NAVY’S OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH will invest $30 million in Hawai`i-based Energy Excelerator, an energy startup program that aims to help companies bring innovative energy solutions to the marketplace, expanding on the clean energy economy in Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region. 

“This shows that the Department of the Navy is serious about clean energy, because they understand that energy security is in our national interest,” said Sen. Brian Schatz. “The Navy’s investment will pay dividends to our state, our economy and our national security.” 
      The Navy’s commitment more than triples the funding that Energy Excelerator has received in the last three years.
      According to its website, Energy Excelerator provides energy startups with
 “non-dilutive funding, strategic relationships and a vibrant ecosystem.”
      See more at hawaiirenewable.com.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION IS OFFERING a Streamline Refinance Loan product for lessees with Hawaiian Home General Loan Fund direct loans in good standing, and an Interest Rate Reduction Loan product for delinquent loans (either in the HHGLF or to be refinanced with monies in the HHGLF) who meet specific criteria. 
      The purpose of the programs is to provide qualified lessees/borrowers with loan products to lower their monthly payment through a refinance of their loan via an interest rate reduction and/or extension of the term of the loan similar to those loan programs outside of DHHL. However, the DHHL products will require minimal loan documentation, and no loan fees will be assessed to the lessee.
      To request an application packet for either the Streamline Refinance Loan or the Interest Rate Reduction Loan contact DHHL’s East Hawai`i District Office, 160 Baker Avenue Hilo, HI 96720 or call 974-4250.
      For more information, see dhhl.hawaii.gov
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Draft Ka`u CDP documents show development in relation to
Hawaiian ahupua`a.
MONDAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING FEEDBACK on the initial draft of Ka`u Community Development Plan’s Appendix V4B: Community Building Analysis and Appendix V4D: Preferred Future Growth Patterns. The documents and feedback forms are available at the project website, kaucdp.info; at libraries and community centers in Pahala, Na`alehu, Discovery Harbour, and Ocean View; and at Hilo and Kona Planning Department offices. 
      Appendix V4B: Community Building Analysis focuses on land use, infrastructure, services, design, and redevelopment strategies. It does not include policies and plans of action that will make up the heart of the CDP. Planner Ron Whitmore said the appendix is not designed to be read from start to finish. “Consider reading through the introductory section and then using the tables of contents, figures, and tables to find material of greatest interest,” he suggested.
      For more information about Ka`u CDP, see the website or Steering Committee members, Community Planning assistant Nalani Parlin, or Whitmore. Contact information is available at the project website.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A member of Hannah's Makana `Ohana
performs at Pahala Plantation House.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U KUPUNA ARE HEADED TO KEAUHOU next week to compete in the statewide Kupuna Hula Festival competition at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. Members of Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, led by Hannah Uribes, will compete in kane, wahine, mixed and solo competitions in the annual event on Wednesday and Thursday. Member Ron Ebert said the group made money using `O Ka`u Kakou’s hotdog and shave ice machines to sell snacks at Punalu`u Beach. 
      Tickets for both days are sold out. The theme of the Kupuna Hula Festival is Noho Ali`i Ka Lani – the Heaven Reigns Above. Each halau has chosen a song that celebrates the natural elements such as heavens, sky, stars, moon, wind air and clouds.
      The event also includes local arts and crafts sales. It is part of the Aloha Festival around the island, which includes the Clyde Kindy Sproat Falsetto & Story Telling Contest, the annual Poke Contest and a Paniolo Parade. See more at hawaiiislandfestival.org.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Don Elwing displays his art using plastic marine debris from Kamilo
Beach this Sunday in Ocean View and next Saturday at Wai`ohinu Park.
HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND’S UPCOMING BEACH CLEANUP at Kamilo Point on Saturday, Sept. 14 is the first of four events in collaboration with Recycle Hawai`i. Objectives are two-fold: collect and remove marine debris from along the shoreline, and attempt to sort out debris that can be re-used for the Ocean Plastic line of dish soap by Method. 
      This cleanup is also in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup event called Get the Drift & Bag It!
      Volunteers meet at Wai`ohinu Park at 7:45 a.m. to talk about cleanup logistics, view artwork by local debris eco-artist, Don Elwing and to caravan/carpool down to the cleanup event.
      Sign up at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or call 769-7629.
      To comment on this story or “Like” it, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

DON ELWING AND OTHER ARTISTS display their works using plastic marine debris Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Ocean View Swap Meet. Elwing visits Kamilo Beach near South Point weekly, collecting ocean debris which he sorts and cleans before turning it into what he calls awareness art.

Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park explore
the Mauna Ulu area Sunday. Photo from FHVNP
NICK SHEMA LEADS A THREE-MILE WALK exploring Mauna Ulu area during Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s monthly Sunday Walk in the Park on Sept. 8 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Free for members, and non-members can join the organization in order to attend. 
      Call 985-7373 or email admin@fhvnp.org.

ALMOST 40 GROUPS HAVE SIGNED UP for booths at next month’s Ka`u Plantation Days, according to organizer Darlyne Vierra. A planning meeting takes place Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.
      For more information, contact Vierra at 640-8740 or dpvierra@yahoo.com.

VARSITY VOLLEYBALL FROM THE KA`U HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS overcame the Pahoa Daggers in five sets on Wednesday, Sept. 4 during an away match. Scores were 25-14, 25-11, 17-25, 15-25, 15-11. Junior varsity girls lost in two sets. Scores were 19-25 and 19-25. Next game for Ka`u girls volleyball with be at home tomorrow, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m.

THE KA`U TROJANS INTRODUCE EIGHT-MAN FOOTBALL to Hawai`i Island at 6 p.m. today. They play Seabury Hall from Maui. Ka`u Trojans team includes Anthony Emmsley-Ah Yee, Tala`i Ke, Chance Emmsley-Ah Yee, Cy Tamura, Kainalu Ke, Walter Espejo, Derrick “Bubba” Velez, Makana Gravella, Kaweni Ibarra, RJ Kahele, Rigan Kaapana, Chisum Silva, Kaliimaka Aipia Dolan and Carlos Ornelas.




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