16 Mar 2009

Question over credibility of energy project in Hawaii

6:43 am on 16 March 2009

The California based Electric Power Research Institute says the firm looking to take on a massive energy project in Hawaii lacks the credibility to do it.

Grays Harbor Ocean Energy Company wants to erect 100 off-shore platforms over a roughly 80 square mile area between O'ahu and Moloka'i to harness electricity from waves and wind.

The project's proposed ocean site crosses an environmentally rich area known as Penguin Bank, which has prompted strong opposition from environmentalists.

But EPRI Ocean Energy Leader Roger Bedard says the developer has only applied for a preliminary permit to the wave portion of the project, but the firm is no where near ready to pursue it.

"And the company itself - I think if one looks into the company, but I believe one would learn the company has never built anything before, has never done a renewable energy project, there's one employee, and the company's capitalisation is zero. I view this as much ado about nothing basically."

Roger Bedard says no wave energy plan exists anywhere in the world, as research for it is still in its infancy.

The EPRI conducts research on issues of interest to the electricity power industry in the USA and is an independent non profit organisation.