(ABOVE VIDEO) Puna Geothermal Venture Plant Manager Cliff Townsend and Director of Hawaiian Affairs Mike Kaleikini discuss contingency plans at a meeting held Monday night at Kua O Ka La Charter School. Video by David Corrigan.
- With lava slowly making its way towards Highway 130, Plant Manager Cliff Townsend said Puna Geothermal Venture is making the necessary electrical changes so it can “island” itself if it gets cut off from the grid.
- PGV said they are also offering the community assistance with storage, and have offered police a place to stage a substation, if lava forces law enforcement to relocate on the other side lower Puna.
- Director of Hawaiian Affairs Mike Kaleikini said that although lava is not currently headed in their direction, if Pele “decides to visit PGV” the geothermal company will “welcome her, show our reverence and respect, and definitely listen to her”. If PGV needs to shut down, they will.
Puna Geothermal Venture is under pressure to make their lava contingency plans fully transparent, following the venting incident during Hurricane / Tropical Storm Iselle on August 7th. The plant – at the request of power company HELCO – stayed online until wind toppled trees knocked out transmission lines. A number of nearby residents claim PGV’s emergency steam release procedures made them sick.