Hawaii – Third isle wind farm proposed

The company that operates a wind farm on Maui and is building one in Kahuku has formed a subsidiary proposing the development of a third wind farm in Hawaii on land at the former Kawailoa Plantation on Oahu’s North Shore.

Kawailoa LLC, formed by Boston-based First Wind LLC, has proposed developing 70 megawatts of electricity capable of providing power to 15,000 homes by 2012.

The company’s plans were disclosed Thursday in its preparation notice for an environmental impact statement filed with the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. Kawailoa LLC officials said they plan to include more details in its future environmental impact statement.

The company wants to build up to 43 wind turbines and support facilities, including an operations and maintenance building, underground and overhead connector lines, and service roads. The company also wants to develop communication facilities at two sites on Mount Kaala.

The two sites would be on state-owned land in the conservation district and enable the electricity to be integrated into the system operated by Hawaiian Electric Co.

The exact location of wind turbines on land owned by Kamehameha Schools will be determined after studies are done on wind patterns, topography and other factors, Kawailoa said.

Kamehameha Schools identified the land as lacking water resources and as appropriate for wind power in its 2008 North Shore Master Plan.

Company officials said the development of wind energy was in keeping with state goals to develop 70 percent of the state’s energy from renewable resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

First Wind has seven projects in operation in the United States generating 504 megawatts, including Kaheawa Wind Power I on Maui, the largest wind farm in Hawaii.

First Wind has also begun construction of Kahuku Wind Power, including 12 wind turbines producing 30 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 7,700 homes. The Kahuku wind energy project is expected to create 200 jobs and to be operating by 2011.

By Gary T. Kubota, www.staradvertiser.com