Residents of a ‘sustainable’ Hawaiian island owned by billionaire Larry Ellison were without power for more than two days after a storm.
The entire island of Lanai – 98 per cent of which was purchased by Ellison in 2012 – lost electrical service after strong winds snapped or damaged utility poles on Saturday.
Crews restored power to most of the residents, including 1,575 Lanai City customers, just before 1am today, but people living in one small town remained without electricity.
Ellison, 72, bought the island in 2012 with a vision of sustainability, including a future powered by solar energy, according to the website for Pulama Lanai, his management company on the island.
The entire Hawaiian island of Lanai – 98 per cent of which is owned by billionaire Larry Ellison after he bought the land in 2012 – lost electrical service after strong winds hit the island on Saturday. Pictured above damage from a recent storm is shown in this photo provided by Maui Electric Company on the island of Lanai, Hawaii
A spokeswoman referred questions to the Maui Electric Co. utility.
As of Tuesday morning, 125 customers in the Manele area remained without power, but utility crews continued to work on repairs through the day.
Maui Electric said crews worked to repair 19 utility poles on the 141-square-mile island where about 3,000 people live.
The repairs involved replacing all of the 19 damaged 45-to-50 foot tall poles, resetting new ones and then restringing about a mile of lines along Kaumalapau Highway to Miki Basin and cross-country to Manele Bay, the company said.
Windstorm damage across the state was the most extensive in years, knocking out power to thousands of people, said Hawaiian Electric, the parent company of Maui Electric.
Lanai lost electricity and telephone service on Saturday night, said Maui County spokesman Rod Antone. Cellphone service was spotty, he said.
Lanai High and elementary school were to be in session on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Hawaii’s education department said.
Donalyn Dela Cruz, however, said parents should ‘feed their children breakfast as the school is unable to serve breakfast meals… The school will be serving a modified lunch’.
Ellison bought 98 per cent of Lanai from billionaire David Murdock in June 2012 for an undisclosed price. He purchased the island with a vision of sustainability
Ellison bought the island in 2012 with a vision of sustainability, including a future powered by solar energy, according to the website for Pulama Lanai, his management company on the island
Ellison revamped the entire Four Seasons resort (pictured above) shortly after purchasing the island. It was up and operating on Tuesday following the power outage
There are two large, luxury hotels on Lanai, formerly known for its pineapple crop.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai was open and operating – but the main phone line was down – while The Lodge at Koele is closed for renovations, a Four Seasons spokeswoman said.
Ellison revamped the entire Four Seasons resort shortly after purchasing the island. Rooms are available at the resort for a minimum of $800 a night.
Ellison, who is the fifth richest man in the world and is worth an estimated $49.2billion, according to Forbes, purchased the island with a vision of sustainability.
The Oracle founder bought 98 per cent of Lanai from billionaire David Murdock in June 2012 for an undisclosed price.
The Maui News reported that Murdock, the CEO of Castle & Cooke Inc, was seeking $500million to $600million for his Lanai holdings.
In October 2012, Ellison said he wanted to turn Lanai into a ‘little laboratory’ for experimenting with more environmentally sound ways to live.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s ambitions include converting sea water into fresh water on the 141-square-mile island of Lanai.
He also wanted to see more electric cars on the island located near Maui, expand its airport, and hopes to increase its fruit exports to Japan and other markets.
Ellison’s multi-million dollar renovations to the Four Season resort finished this year, and renovations are now happening at the Lodge at Koele.
Meanwhile, Ellison wants to add a zipline to the current lineup of resort activities, which include croquet, a putting course, horseback riding, archery, a shooting range, utility terrain vehicle riding, hiking, biking,