We have the powerTo the Forum:

The purchase of Kaua’i Electric by a cooperative of Kaua’i citizens provides a

great opportunity for Kaua’i. This is a chance to reassess our choices and

control our own destiny.

We, the citizens, have the power to make choices

for a better Kaua’i. The tripling of the cost of oil and the identification of

serious safety concerns with the Hanama’ulu fossil plant plans by Dr. Kim and

other medical staff at Wilcox Hospital should make us think “Is there a better

way?”

Generator failures at the Lihu’e Plantation and Kaua’i Electric’s

Port Allen facility have shown the legitimate need for reserve power capacity.

However, the November peak load was just over 70 MW according to KE. The total

capacity is just over 110 MW.

With the loss of 14 MW of Lihu’e Plantation

power, there’s about a 25 MW margin according to the numbers in the EIS.

KE hasn’t asked the public to conserve yet. There’s still time for a

reassessment.

I appreciate the hard work of all of the people at Kaua’i

Electric to maintain a stable supply of power. Thank you.

I have

reviewed KE’s Final Environmental Impact Statement in detail. I do not believe

that its plan is the right choice for Kaua’i. The EIS fails to consider the

best choices to supply energy to Kaua’i. It provides a woefully inadequate

assessment of siting and transportation choices.

I have 15 years of

experience of reviewing siting plans and problems in the nuclear business. I

have graduate training in power plant siting from U.C.L.A. I have written

regulatory guides. I lead a team that wrote plans for high level nuclear waste

safety research.

We developed our plans based upon thorough research on

failed sites. I have seen the disastrous results of poor siting and planning. I

have seen the process that leads to those disasters. I am seeing that process

here.

The best plans present all of the possible options and

provide the basis for an informed public discussion. The EIS, however, did not

even present a comparison of the costs of expanding in the Port Allen area

versus the costs of developing a whole new facility in Hanama’ulu. Why?

I’m sure they could buy a few more acres of land in Port Allen more cheaply

than developing a whole new facility in Hanama’ulu.

I support KE’s goal of

energy security. But, the low price of oil is now history and supplies are very

short. There is no security in oil. It costs about three times what it did one

year ago. Burning oil in two different towns achieves very little improvement

in security over burning it in one.

Both the price and supply are subject

to rapid unexpected change.

Power lines to most of the east side and the

north shore go from the Tree Tunnel Road vicinity to Kapa’a, not through

Lihu’e. New fines would have to be built to service the new facility, not just

to Lihu’e, but all of the way to Kapa’a, for the second Hanama’ulu unit.

The visual impact on the east side of large new power lines would be

significant. The small cost savings of reduced line loss to Lihu’e would be

offset by the costs of trucking fuel to Hanama’ulu and building new lines.

Claims have been made that the air will be cleaner with Hanama’ulu plant.

I don’t think so. The air will get cleaner only with the shut down or clean up

of existing units. The next best option is to burn where the wind blows the

smoke offshore.

If you want clean air don’t build a fossil fuel plant in

Hanama’ulu. If you must burn fuel, Port Allen is the best site.

What

concerns me most is the completely unnecessary risk in storing fuel in

Nawiliwili harbor and transporting it through Lihu’e to Hanama’ulu. The fuel

tanks are located in a tsunami hazard area, endangering safety and the

environment.

The fuel trucks would first pass the access roads to Kaua’i

High, the Marriott and the airport. Next comes Wal Mart, 1/4 mile from Wilcox

hospital, Kuhio highway and St. Francis School. An accident could necessitate

hospital evacuation. Where would they go?

This plan would have up to 35

truck round trips per day taking this route. It would pose a much greater risk

than the accepted risks of occasionally transporting gasoline and propane

gas.

The Hanama’ulu site has totally unacceptable and unnecessary

transportation risks. It should be rejected. Port Allen has none of these

risks. It is an infinitely superior site.

There is a better way. Combine

conservation, wind, solar and hydro peaking. Work with the Robinsons on

biomass. Generate stable jobs on Kaua’i providing energy. Instead of sending

our dollars to foreigners for oil, spend them right here.

George

Birchard

Kalaheo

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