The Maui News - The slopes of Haleakala could be the site for drilling for geothermal energy as early as next year. Ornat Technologies submitted an environmental impact statement to the Department of Land and Natural Resources in February, indicating its willingness to move forward with a planned geothermal plant in 'Ulupalakua. The project was previously announced last year.
If the study is not able to find substantial environmental or cultural impact, a mining lease and geothermal resource subzone modification application will be considered by land board members.
Ornat has partnered with 'Ulupalakua Ranch for the project, which could generate an estimated 24 megawatts of electricity daily. The power would be sold to Maui Electric Company.
The power would be harnessed by tapping into underground water and heat sources close to 6,000 feet below the Earth's surface. They plan to find the source by probing a 5,315-acre area on the Ranch.