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Governor of American Samoa Coming to Hawaii – Will Meet With UH Hilo Students as Part of Itinerary

The Governor of American Samoa Togiola Tulafono has headed to Hawaii to meet the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Affairs Anthony Babauta and Director of the Office of Insular Affairs Nikolao Pula.

Governor of American Samoa - Togiola Tulafono

Governor Togiola will also travel to the Big Island for a meeting regarding Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and geothermal power development in Hilo.

While in Hilo, the Governor and First Lady Mary Ann Tulafono will also meet American Samoa students attending the University of Hawaii Hilo campus.

Governor Togiola will also travel to Kauai for a tour of the Breadfruit Institute, a laboratory under the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Lihue, which began exporting tens of thousands of breadfruit treelings last year to provide a sustainable food source.

Tomorrow the County of Hawaii Will Enter Into a Sister City Relationship with the Island of Kumejima, Okinawa, Japan

Seal of Hawaii County, Hawaii

Image via Wikipedia

The County of Hawaii will enter into a Sister City Relationship with the island of Kumejima, Okinawa, Japan on Sunday during a Ocean Thermal Energy Workshop (OTEC) at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA).

The signing ceremony will take place at noon. The Mayor of Kumejima, Choukou Taira, and County of Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi will enter into the agreement, which will stress economic ties rather than the traditional cultural bonds of sister city relationships.

Kumejima is an island about 50 miles east of Naha, Okinawa. Much like Hawaii Island of about 20 years ago, Kumejima’s economy is based on the visitor industry and sugar cane, known as sato kibi in Japan.

Kumejima, which has a climate and appearance similar to Kauai, also shares another similarity with Hawaii Island, a deep sea pipeline which has allowed aquaculture to blossom on the island, which is about the same size as Molokai.

In November, public and private officials visited Kumejima to take part in an OTEC Workshop, where the possibility of a partnership between Kumejima and Hawaii Island was discussed. This pact, which could result in the establishment of a demonstration plant at NELHA using the 55-inch pipelines already installed at the facility on Keahole Point, will be further discussed at the workshop by Japanese and American officials.

It was during this visit in November that the governments of Kumejima and Hawaii County realized that a sister city relationship would be a natural extension of the proposed natural energy partnership taking place at the time.

“We are honored to enter into this agreement with Kumejima,” said Mayor Kenoi. “The similarities between our islands are striking, including the fact that we are both outlying islands of island groups far away from their mainland countries. I think we can learn many things from each other as we both strive to break our dependence on fossil fuels.”

OTEC technology, which was successfully tested off Keahole Point in the 1970s, uses the temperature difference of deep sea and surface water to make a working fluid — in this case ammonia — to “boil.”

The boiling fluid releases “steam” which is used to drive a turbine.

Intensive OTEC research is now taking place in a number of places in the world, including NELHA, where Lockheed-Martin recently blessed a facility, and at Saga University in Saga, Japan, where scientists are generating electricity using a small demonstration unit.

“OTEC has the potential to provide virtually inexhaustible, clean energy in the equatorial regions of the earth,” said Kenoi. “This is an opportunity for Hawaii Island to play a role in furthering a technology that could have worldwide implications.”

OTEC Pilot Plant Off Big Island a Step Closer to Reality

An Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) pilot plant off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island is now a step closer to reality. The U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NFEC) has just awarded Lockheed Martin a US$4.4 million contract modification to develop critical system components and designs for the plant – this amount is in addition to the $8.1 million contract the NFEC issued in 2009, as well as two grants totaling $1 million that Lockheed Martin received from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 and this March. Hopefully, this means the streets of Kona may someday be lit by electricity obtained from the temperature difference between warm and cold sea water.

An artist's impression of Lockheed Martin's Hawaii OTEC pilot plant

Full article here:  More Funds for Hawaii’s Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Project

Video Clips From the August 21st, Public Hearing on the Shoreline Access

Media Release:

Senator Josh Green, and Representatives Denny Coffman and Cindy Evans knew they had to respond to the public outcry over the closure of the public access road along the coast that leads to the Kohanaiki Beach area.

Little did they know the extent of the publics unrest. Thousands of signatures were gathered in a matter of weeks, and hundreds showed up in person to let their representatives know, that either NELHA opens the gate, or the people would open it themselves.

Some of the people wanted to go down that night and open it, others suggested the next day, everybody agreed that if it was not open in a 30 day period, it would be time to act.

Ron Baird, the CEO of NELHA, has given a number of reasons for closing the gate, but none of them really seem to hold water, adn none of them seem to justify the manner in how it was done.

Giving just two weeks notice, Baird ordered that the gate be locked for good.

It is the general sentiment that he should not onlly open the gate, but resign.

Needless to say the public is upset, and unruly to say the least. 30 days seems like the longest people will wait for NELHA to respnd.

A lot of credit most be given to Josh Green for holding this informal meeting to gather information. The Senator and two Representatives took a lot of heat from the public, who sometimes blamed them for the gate being locked. The truth of the matter, is that they were there to gather information to find a remedy.

That remedy appears to be to open the gate, restore access, and replace Baird with someone who has more respect for the residents that call Kohanaiki their second home.

Big Island Live broadcast the whole meeting live, and is playing reruns periodically. This is a short edited version of a two and a half hour public outcry.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zdyzk36NLQ&hl=en&fs=1&]

Navy Looking at OTEC Plans for Hawaii’s Future

… the U.S. military plans to move 8,000 Marines and 17,000 family members to Guam from Okinawa, Japan, by 2014. But these new residents and the expanded military installations are likely to overwhelm Guam’s power grid, which today generates all of its electricity from imported oil.

The Navy thinks “ocean thermal energy conversion” may be the answer to Guam’s future electricity needs – and Diego Garcia’s, Kwajalein’s and Hawaii’s, too…

…But it could start a process that within a generation could have ocean thermal energy conversion providing all the electricity Guam – or Hawaii or Diego Garcia – needs, Lockheed officials say.

More here

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