For Immediate Release: December 8, 2009

HONOLULU – The State of Hawaii today announced the completion of the Interisland Cable Project Ocean Floor Survey. Conducted by the University of Hawaii – Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), the survey indicates that placement of undersea electrical transmission cables is physically possible between the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.

The cable is an integral part of a proposed Interisland Wind project that would transmit up to 400 megawatts of renewable electricity generated from wind farms on Molokai and Lanai to Oahu and potentially to Maui.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) contracted with SOEST to conduct this intensive survey of the ocean floor to identify possible cable routes. The survey indicates several viable route options; however, a preferred route will not be selected until after completion of an environmental impact statement (EIS). Data collected from this survey will also be integrated into the EIS for the interisland cable.

“By providing a way to move renewable energy from where it is abundantly available to where it is needed, the interisland cable will help meet Hawaii‟s goals of reducing dependence on imported oil,” said Ted Peck, state energy administrator with DBEDT. “The cable, as part of the Interisland Wind project, will help improve our energy security by reducing Hawaii‟s dependence on the volatile global petroleum market.”

The cable will also bring investment and jobs in construction, high technology and other related industries. Reducing dependence on imported oil will keep in Hawaii part of the $6 billion to $7 billion sent out of state yearly for energy. The cable will also provide a backbone for the future development of Hawaii‟s electrical infrastructure and the addition of more renewable energy in Hawaii.

The Interisland Wind project is part of a comprehensive energy agreement signed in 2008, between the State of Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric companies designed to move the state away from dependence on fossil fuels for electricity and ground transportation. Partners in the agreement include DBEDT, the Hawaiian Electric companies, the State Consumer Advocate, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The State-Hawaiian Electric energy agreement is a critical component of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), an unprecedented partnership formed in January 2008 between the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy to work toward having 70 percent of Hawaii‟s energy come from clean energy sources by 2030.

“The results of the SOEST survey are encouraging,” said Governor Lingle. “The interisland cable is critical to achieving the goal of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative of 70 percent clean energy by 2030, and we are eager to move forward with this project.”

The report is available online at


For more information, contact:

Ted Liu
Director, DBEDT
Phone: (808) 586-2355

Ted Peck
State Energy Administrator
Phone( 808) 587-3812