Larry Ellison Will Turn His Hawaiian Island Into A Big Experiment

lanai island

Photo: WLCutler via Flickr

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has at last explained why he bought a big chunk of the state of Hawaii when he purchased the island of Lanai this summer.He’s going to turn Lanai into a “model for sustainable enterprise” using all the latest, eco-friendly technology for power and organic farming. This includes electric cars, turning seawater into fresh water, and using solar power.

“It is going to be a little, if you will, laboratory for sustainability in businesses of small scale,” he said yesterday during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC.

Here’s the full explanation:

I love Hawaii and Lanai is a very interesting project. There, what we are going to do is turn Lanai into a model for sustainable enterprise. And what I mean by that is—in Lanai, I own the water utility, I own the electric utility, and the electric utility is all going to be solar photovoltaic and solar thermal where it can convert sea water into fresh water. And then we have drip irrigation where we are going to have organic farms all over the island. Hopefully we are going to export produce—really the best, organic produce to Japan and elsewhere. And … we are going to support the local people and help them start these businesses. We will have electric cars. So it is going to be a little, if you will, laboratory for sustainability in businesses of small scale.

Ellison isn’t the only one interested in eco-friendly power on Lanai. The island’s previous owner, billionaire, David Murdock, held onto an assortment of Lanai’s assets. These included rights to a controversial wind power plant that residents opposed.

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