State Of Hawaii Selects AECOM To Prepare EIS For Undersea Cable

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The state of Hawaii says AECOM will prepare the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed undersea inter-island cable connecting the islands of Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Maui.

AECOM was selected by an evaluation committee that included representatives from numerous state and federal agencies. The contract is being paid for by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds totaling $2.9 million.

In 2008, the state of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy signed an agreement to establish the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which establishes a 70% clean energy goal by 2030.

‘By providing a statewide electrical grid and a way to move renewable energy from where it is abundantly available to where it is needed, the inter-island cable will help our state achieve a clean energy future,’ says Ted Peck, administrator of the Hawaii State Energy Office. ‘The cable and the inter-island wind projects will help improve our energy security by reducing Hawaii's dependence on the volatile global petroleum market.’

As part of the EIS, the consultant team will examine impacts on cultural resources; historic and archeological resources; coastal aquatic ecology; endangered, threatened and protected species; coral reef ecology; whales and marine mammals; wildlife and fisheries biology; water quality; ecological and human health; offshore habitats; essential fish habitats; preferred routing alternatives; as well as socioeconomic and visual impacts.

The EIS work will also include rigorous public involvement on the affected islands through a comprehensive public outreach and participation process.

The undersea inter-island cable is one component of the Interisland Wind Initiative, which includes the development of wind farms in Maui County, the development of the undersea cable and the utility infrastructure upgrades that would allow the integration of a renewable energy electrical grid.

The Interisland Wind Initiative is part of a comprehensive energy agreement signed one year ago between the state of Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric companies.

SOURCE: Office of Lt. Gov. James Aiona Â

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