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Clean Power location of hawaii's largest wind power project

Published on February 27th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Hawaii’s Largest Wind Power Project Now Under Construction

February 27th, 2012 by  

Hawaii’s largest wind power project, the 69-megawatt (MW) Kawailoa Wind project on Kamehameha Schools’ Kawailoa Plantation lands on Oahu’s North Shore, is now under construction.

location of hawaii's largest wind power project

On the North Shore of Oahu Island, Hawaii

The wind power project will include thirty 2.3-MW Siemens wind turbines, which will produce enough electricity to power approximately 14,500 homes on Oahu Island, approximately 5% of the island’s total electricity demand.

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz, State Senator Mike Gabbard, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, and others hosted a project groundbreaking on Friday.

“This project will not only help the State meet its renewable energy goals, but it will also help preserve and support continued agricultural production for future generations,” Giorgio Caldarone, Regional Asset Manager and Renewable Energy Sector Lead at Kamehameha Schools, said. “Kamehameha Schools is committed to sustainability and to investing in projects today that will create positive outcomes for future generations. Mahalo to the North Shore community and to everyone else who helped to make this vision a reality.”

“This is the largest wind farm in Hawai’i’s history, and it shows the progress we are making toward our clean energy goals. This is a great day for Hawai’i. We’ve moved from talking about renewable energy to actually doing it,” Lt. Gov. Schatz.

That line above that I bolded really stands out to me. The huge majority of the U.S. population supports and wants more investment in clean energy. Poll after poll after poll shows this. And a lot of folks in highly influential positions talk about supporting clean energy. But support and talk are different from action, and they generally come long before it. It’s exciting to see more and more states, localities, and nations moving forward with clean energy, and I can only hope that the others will quickly move from theoretical support and talk to action. One key reason we featured so many stories like this on CleanTechnica is because I think they inspire others to start and eventually implement such projects, or similar projects that green their world with another clean technology.

But, back to the project, here are some more details you might be interested in:

“In December 2011, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a power purchase agreement between First Wind and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), which serves more than 400,000 Hawaii customers. Hawaii state law mandates 70 percent clean energy for electricity and surface transportation by 2030, with 40 percent coming from local renewable sources. Kawailoa Wind will significantly advance the state’s progress toward these goals.”

I’m sure that clean energy mandate was a huge part of this project’s fuel. Don’t have such a mandate in your state? Or have one that you think is too weak? Organize some influential and inspirational people and get it going!

For more details on this project and others in the state, check out the First Wind link below.

Connect with me on Google+, Twitter, or the little-known social networking site referred to as ‘Facebook‘.

Source: First Wind | Image: North Shore of Oahu Island, Hawaii courtesy shutterstock

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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  • Geoff de Ruiter

    I totally agree, stories like these do inspire people and they show that progress is happening and at an increasing rate!

  • yes We the citizens get to pay higher rates to HECO for the Free Electricity that the wind farms product, wait a min we forgot to add the triple maintenance cost then the general excise tax, then the state tax and County of Honolulu tax that will be added and be the lam excuses why there raising power cost once the mills are complete. There is thousands of acres of unused land in Hawaii that could be used for thousands of these and could help the Islands break there dependence on fuels, and make electricity practically free to the residents of Hawaii. Will this ever happen probable not then HECO couldn’t charge you a small fortune for electricity and get rich off of Free Power. The city and county should build a renewable energy committee if they don’t already have one and start up a general fund to support the cost of building these farms if everyone was to give five extra dollars a month with in a year there would be enough funds to build several of these farms and we could begin lower electrical prices for everyone that’s if the City and county would take this over and keep HECO money hungry hands out of the cookie jar and keep the worthless government officials out of it.

    • I would bet some good money that wind is a cheaper alternative for new electricity than any fossil fuel on Hawaii. Not sure how it competes with geothermal (another clean energy source), though. That said, while the fuel is free, the turbines and such are not. So, I’m sure they must get their money back. Plus, if they’ve got the initiative to produce and sell electricity, good for them! Produce your own electricity and capitalize on that if you can 😀

  • So why arent my electricity rates ever going down? HECO still has a damn monopoly and even RAISES our rates they say “to compete with solar”

    Solar and wind are supposed to save us money, but HECO has us by the balls and will raise our rates to make up for that lack of business.

    What the hell is that?

    • lukealization

      John, it might just be worth buying/building your own solar electricity system. If your rates are really that bad, it is probably worth it!

  • BGIedu

    Fantastic! Wind turbines in Hawaii add such a unique majestic feel to the landscape as well. We hope the locals agree.

    • tdh

      We don’t all agree. The majesty of the mills faded very quickly as windmills have begun to absolutely dominate the ridge above Waimea Valley, a very sacred ahupua’a and spiritual & cultural site on this island. Thanks for the green energy but no thanks for the feeble attempts at preserving the land in righteousness.

      • so, question: how do you recommend electricity is generated for residents?

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