New Guidelines For Hawaiian Ocean Energy Projects

In an effort to encourage ocean energy projects that the community supports, a group of approximately 30 stakeholders has developed guidelines to help potential developers of ocean energy power facilities plan and implement projects in Hawaii.

The Ocean Energy Development Guidelines describe what ocean developers need to do, such as communicate with the community early in the process and lead with a concept of giving back.

Specific issues that potential developers need to communicate with ocean stakeholders include the size and location of any proposed project, the technology to be used and risks to the natural environment, navigation and fishing, ocean recreation and homeland security. Cultural issues such as native Hawaiian traditional rights are discussed along with guidelines for assessing cultural impacts from the Office of Environmental Quality Control.

There is also a list of individuals who have offered to be resource contacts for potential ocean energy developers and to assist them in understanding concerns and navigating the community acceptance process.

The guidelines were developed by a group of individuals and organizations that represent environmental and Hawaiian cultural organizations, fishing, surfing, paddling and marine-life preservation interests, along with state agencies, the State Legislature and the United States Coast Guard.  

In a letter, representatives of the sponsoring organizations noted, “Many good development projects have failed, or experienced costly and timely challenges in Hawaii, because developers have failed to engage with our community early and productively. We cannot afford to allow the development of good, sustainable alternative energy projects to fail.”

The final document is available on-line at www.hawaiisenergyfuture.com.

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