Geothermal is key to cutting electricity costs

A March 21 letter writer asked if there was a way to reduce electrical bills.

I’ve been all over the Big Island in the last few years. I have exactly one experience, in British Columbia, helping build out a micro-hydro station that had 50-kilowatt-hour output. It used penstock and a Pelton turbine arrangement.

The key to cutting electrical cost in Hawaii is geothermal and the Big Island’s considerable run of river hydroelectric potential.

First we need a state corporation to broker state provider output. It makes a deal with the U.S. Navy to use nuclear generation surplus while vessels are in Pearl. This provides cash flow necessary to float a bond issue that funds an undersea cable between Maui and Hawaii island to connect with the proposed one, and experts from Iceland to design and build out 2,000 megawatts of geothermal on the Big Island. A set wholesale price of 6 to 8 cents per kilowatt-hour is offered by the corporation, about five years to build out.

Once up and running, this power and its cash flow are used to build out enough electrical capacity to charge electric vehicles aiming at 90 percent of all vehicles in Hawaii around 2060.

Within a decade, Hawaii is wholly renewable. State consumers could see their bills drop by 50 percent.

Pat Kean