Sempra US Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy are collaborating on a 21-MW wind farm installation in southeastern Maui. It may be completed by the end of the year. Eight Siemens turbines will generate the power, already purchased under a PPA by the Maui Electric Company. Additionally, a battery storage system capable of holding over 4 MWh will be employed. Presumably, such a system will be used to help offset periods of low or no wind. The footprint of the Auwahi wind farm facilities will be approximately 120 acres, with a generator tie-line about nine miles long, including a service road.
The new Auwahi wind farm being planned for Maui will generate enough power for 10,000 average Maui homes. Once completed, Sempra will operate the wind farm, which will be located at Ulupalakua Ranch.
The environmental impact statement for the venture says, “Power generated from the proposed Project would help to reduce price volatility associated with the cost of energy to the County of Maui. The proposed Project would demonstrate how renewable energy uses can coexist with agricultural and ranching uses in rural Maui.”
It also notes the project will be beneficial to the local economy, and cattle can still be raised on the property while the wind farm is in operation.
Hawaii has a goal of generating 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 — this will certainly help the state along.