PUC KIUC Testimony

SUBHEAD: We each need to weigh in on the plans cooked up by the KIUC board for more generating power. By Juan Wilson on 25 August 2009 - [Editor's Note: The following is testimony to the PUC regarding a rate hike request by KIUC (Kauai Island Utility Cooperative). A meeting on this issue will be held at Wilcox Elementary School in Lihue at 6:00pm tonight. If youy can attend the meeting... in any case... testify.] image above: Detail from photo of KIUC Chair Randy Hee at West Kauai Rotary meeting on 7/14/09. From http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1XPoM2Gi7JBHCOYWcyVgtw Aloha PUC Commissioners, I am an architect and planner living in Hanapepe, Kauai. I ask you to deny KIUC a rate increase if it is to be used to finance a $75 million centralized diesel/biofuel generating plant or if it is to increase "RELIABILTY" related to future estimated load increases. The philosophy of KIUC is stuck in the past and ignores the likely scenarios about to beset us. There are two likely futures relative to energy prices: One: The hyper-stimulus of our economy stumbles into a false growth spurt. We resume our self destructive dependence on ever increasing resource consumption. Energy prices sour. We are again paying $150 a barrel for oil and the cost of electricity doubles on Kauai. Two: The economy stays dead... meaning no growth. There is a prolonged depression and load on Kauai does not increase. We then need no additional central generating plant or the debt associated with it. The primary solution to our current dilemma is to destroy demand for energy supplied by KIUC. There are two ways to do that. One: Simply have KIUC members use less energy. Two: Encourage independent and distributed production. Actually, a combination of the two is where the sweet spot is. What KIUC should not be doing is financing increased central capacity. It should be enabling users to produce power of their own so as to depend less on their grid. They should pay co-op members for every watt they produce and encourage them to share it. The current arrangement disallows KIUC members from buying power from any source but KIUC. What madness. The KIUC members should insist that their utility company sets up a credit union to finance distributed solar PV and wind generated power at the point of consumption... and support the means to store that energy. KIUC should be increasing flexibility and decentralization not "reliability" and more centralized dependence. Randy Hee and most of the current KIUC board are marching off the cliff in the 11th hour. I, for one, won't be going with them. Juan Wilson Architect-Planner PO Box 949 Hanapepe HI 96716 (808) 335-0733 see also: Ea O Ka Aina: Let's encourage solar power 3/17/09

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