Hawaii and Geothermal-What Has Been Happening

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Journal Article: Hawaii and Geothermal-What Has Been Happening


The Hawaiian Islands lie above a geological “hot spot” in the earth’s mantle that has been volcanically active for the past 70 million years, with the island of Hawaii (the “Big Island”) having the most recent activity. The Big Island has an obvious, large potential for geothermal energy resources, both for electrical generation and direct utilization. Since the 1976 drilling of the HGP-A well and the discovery of the Kapoho Geothermal Reservoir in the lower Kilauea East Rift Zone, geothermal power potential on the Big Island has been estimated at between 500 and 700 Megawatts (Thomas, 1987). As a historical note, King Kalakaua, who was on the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom before Hawaii became a state, had extraordinary vision regarding many things, including electricity. Kalakaua, along with several of his closest advisors, visited Thomas A. Edison in New York in 1881 because the King was interested in replacing the kerosene lamps being used at his Iolani Palace with electric lamps. Because of his efforts, Honolulu became one of the first cities in the West to have electric street lights when Princess Kaiulani closed the switch that provided the power, not from the volcano, but from a nearby hydroelectric plant

(Energy, Resources, and Technology Division, 2002d).

Tonya L. Boyd, D. Thomas and A. T. Gill

Published Journal 
Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin, 2002

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Internet link for Hawaii and Geothermal-What Has Been Happening

Tonya L. Boyd, D. Thomas, A. T. Gill. 2002. Hawaii and Geothermal-What Has Been Happening. Geo-Heat Center Quarterly Bulletin. 23(3):11–21.