Lanai sustainable energy plan upset

SUBHEAD: Punahou grad no longer heading billionaire Larry Ellison’s Lanai sustainable energy efforts.

By Duane Shimogawa on 27 March 2017 for Bizjournals -

Image above: Sunpower Lanai Laola Solar PV Farm. From (

Billionaire Oracle Corporation founder Larry Ellison is not using the expertise of an energy veteran and Punahou School alumnus to lead his sustainability efforts on the Hawaiian island of Lanai that he purchased for $300 million in 2012, the company heading operations on the island on behalf of Ellison confirmed to Pacific Business News.

In 2013, Ellison, who has talked about turning the Pineapple Island into a “model of sustainability,” tapped Byron Washom, director of strategic energy initiatives at University of California-San Diego, to lead his Lanai sustainability efforts.

In that role as chief architect, Washom was working with Pulama Lanai, the company owned by Ellison, to oversee the development of an electricity microgrid that would’ve been powered by renewable energy sources and a desalination plant that would’ve augmented the island’s supply of fresh water. Neither projects have been able to get off the ground.

A spokeswoman for Pulama Lanai told PBN that Washom is not actively engaged with the company.

Washom, who was raised on Midway Atoll and Oahu, is responsible for energy management policy at UC San Diego. His stint with Pulama Lanai was supposed to last at least nine months.

Hawaiian Electric Co. through its subsidiary Maui Electric Co., which covers the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai, recently revealed that the Pineapple Island could get to 59 percent renewable energy by 2020, using a mix of renewable energy projects, including solar.

The island already has a 1.2-megawatt solar farm, which supplies about 10 percent of the island’s electricity. There are more than 3,000 residents on the island.

A major plan to develop a large wind farm on the island and connect it to an undersea cable that would pump power to energy-starved Oahu is now off the table.

Ellison, through a spokeswoman for Oracle, told PBN that it will be declining the opportunity to talk about the billionaire’s latest plans for the island.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Paradise Real Estate 12/11/12
Ea O Ka Aina: The Pivot Point 9/21/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Pro Big Wind signs come down 7/23/12
Ea O Ka Aina: Larry Ellison - Oracle 6/21/12


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