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Letters for Saturday, March 24, 2012

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Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:02 am

Smart Meters akamai

I’ve been using smart meter and smart grid principles and technology for over 30 years — designing, developing and providing equipment to hydroelectric projects in Hawai‘i, Asia and the Pacific. Many of our installations are “stand-alone” off the grid systems requiring the creation of mini-grids. In these off-grid systems we use smart meter/smart grid principles and technology to improve efficiency, reliability and sustainability. Our off-grid clients have finite water resources and have to make every drop of water and watt of energy work.

Now we are all beginning to realize that Kaua‘i is really “off the grid”, a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific thousands of miles from our main sources of energy. We all know the era of cheap fossil fuel is long gone; we must convert to renewables and we can no longer afford to waste a watt.

So when Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative announced the smart meters, I thought, “What took them so long?”

The generation/distribution system used by KIUC (and most utilities these days) has changed little in the last fifty years. “Need power? Add oil. Need more power? Add more oil and another generator. No need so much power? Well keep ‘em spinning just in case. Never can tell.”

Without smart meters, a smart grid and load management our energy mix can’t change that much. Renewables require management. We can’t control when or where the sun shines, the rain falls or the wind blows; biofuels will have to share land with food production and solar collectors. To make this mix work will require high tech load management and energy storage.  With smart meters and critical peak pricing we will all be able to reduce our electric bill by installing simple timers on appliances like water heaters, clothes driers and deep freezers; and the potential reduction of standby spinning reserve charges for commercial customers is huge.

I have no business relationship with KIUC and write this letter simply as a co-op member. Regarding other issues often raised in letters to TGI (health etc.), all I can say is that we have never had a problem or a complaint.

John Wehrheim, Lihu‘e

Why is it?

Why is it? Great letter from Allan Rachap Thursday, “KIUC and electricity costs”.

I have come to the opinion of no wonder the voter turnout is low for new directors. According to Mr. Rachap’s letter, It seems by the past and present actions of those we have elected that it’s a waste of time to for a group that cannot run the co-op the way it benefits the owners.

After reading all of what the candidates had to say, there wasn’t much said that convinced me that if elected it will be any different than “business as usual”.

As Mr. Rachap mentions in his letter, why is it by KIUC’s own admission Chevron has monopoly power over the market power generation fuels on Kaua‘i? Why is it that we have been purchasing Indonesian crude oil at a 20 percent premium compared to mainland oil? On top of that it’s shipped 7,000 miles instead of the cheaper shipping from 3,000 miles on the mainland.

I wonder how many people involved in some way with the co-op have stock in Chevron oil?

Instead of wasting millions of our dollars building solar farms, why is it KIUC is not spending the millions converting the power plant to cleaner burning natural gas instead of diesel fuel?

Instead of solar farm back-ups they should run a pipe line to Kekaha land fill where there will always be an abundance of methane gas.

Mr. Rachap, why is it you were not a candidate? You could make a difference!

Steve Martin, Wailua Homesteads

The good Luck, the bad Payton and the ugly Peyton

The National Football league is in the off season, and although professional hockey and basketball are currently on prime time, the NFL is still number one on the news.

New Orleans’ head coach Sean Payton was suspended for a year without payment of his $7.5 million salary for placing monetary bounties on opposing teams’ quarterbacks to be knocked out of the game.

Defensive coach Greg Williams was also suspended indefinitely and the general manager was also suspended for eight games, along with being slapped with a $500,000 fine and losing two number-two draft picks.

Not really a great day for the 2010 super bowl champion New Orleans Saints!

Now let’s set Payton aside and take a look at Peyton.

Quarterback Peyton Manning signed a $96 million, 5-year contract to play for the Denver Broncos.

Peyton’s former team declined to re-sign the future hall of famer after Peyton sat out all last season from neck surgeries.

Manning’s former team had only two wins last season making them eligible for the number-one draft pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The Colts decided to let Peyton go and will most likely depend on Luck; Andrew Luck, the runner up for two consecutive years for the Heisman trophy.

If anyone missed the news you can, always with some “luck,” TiVo-it from your TV; I said TiVo not Tebow.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a

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