WAIMEA HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Posted on May 16, 2017 in Community News, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Hawaiian Homes Commission, Planning Office, Public Information, Public Notice, Slider

WAIMEA HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Q:         How much of our Trust lands would be used for the proposed hydroelectric project?

Waimea lands include approximately 15,000 acres or 72% of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust on Kaua‘i. The proposed hydroelectric project would use a small fraction of the Waimea lands. The approximate size and location of that use is shown on the attached map.

Q:         Why would the department use a portion of our Waimea Hawaiian  Home Lands Trust for a hydroelectric project instead of  awarding farming and ranching homesteads to HHCA beneficiaries on the waiting list?

The DHHL Waimea lands are largely dry, steep, and inaccessible. Less than one third of the parcel was once used for sugar cultivation, and those are much of the same lands that could be used for future homesteading – IF water and access is provided. Allowing the development of a hydroelectric project on a small portion of the Waimea Trust lands is a way to have another party develop water, roads and electric infrastructure so that the lands can be used for homestead development.

Q:         How will a hydroelectric project benefit DHHL and its beneficiaries?

The main benefit is that the proposed hydroelectric project will bring water to West Kaua‘i Trust lands. The water will service existing pastoral lots and allow the future development of new homestead lots. The proposed project will shift the cost of developing and maintaining key infrastructure (roads, electricity and water) from DHHL to the energy developer. This will open the lands for beneficiary use and the development of new homestead lots.

Q:         Is this project consistent with DHHL Plans for the region?

Yes, the proposed project is consistent with DHHL’s West Kaua‘i Regional Plan which was developed with Waimea, Kekaha, and Hanapēpē homestead beneficiaries through an extensive regional planning process. The proposed hydroelectric project is consistent with, and helps to implement, two Priority Projects: 1) the development of an agricultural and water plan; and 2) the development of renewable energy projects that are compatible with agriculture. The West Kaua‘i Regional Plan can be accessed online at:

http://dhhl.hawaii.gov/po/regional-plans/kauai-regional-plans/

Click HERE for a PDF (downloadable) version of the FAQ’s.