The only geothermal plant on Hawaii’s Big Island has been closed for more than six weeks because of the Kilauea volcano's eruptions. But a faction of local residents who believe that tapping the volcano for energy carries serious health and environmental risks -- and is an affront to Hawaiian values -- want it to stay closed for good.
The plant, Puna Geothermal Venture, began commercial operation 25 years ago despite objections from locals who worried the release of geothermal fluid, including hydrogen sulfide, endangered residents. Some members of the Puna community, including native Hawaiians, also say that geothermal development would subvert their worship of the volcano goddess Pele. Now, the closure of the plant has given new life to their objections.
Puna Geothermal Plant with lava on both sides and part of the complex destroyed with two wells covered. #KilaueaEruption #Hawaii pic.twitter.com/spcvqCY8gh— Anthony Quintano (@AnthonyQuintano) June 21, 2018