PAHOA, Hawaii – A handful of residents attended a Puna Geothermal Venture community meeting in Pahoa Wednesday night. The year-end update from the Pohoiki-based power producer was led by Ormat’s head of Hawaii Affairs, Mike Kaleikini.
The small crowd was equal parts supporters (some were employees of PGV) and detractors of the geothermal energy company. Kaleikini says the company is very pleased with the production on the newest well, and that while there are no plans to drill more wells, there are plans to do improvements on existing wells. The goal is to meet the 38 megawatts that they have agreed to produce under contract with the Hawaii Electric Light Company.
Kaleikini also answered a lot of questions about the steam release during Tropical Storm Iselle in August 2014, which many residents say affected their health. Puna’s State Representative Joy SanBuenaventurea and Sierra Club member Cory Harden asked PGV officials about air monitoring at the power plant, especially during times of maintenance.