Hawaii wind farm nearly complete

Work is nearing completion on the $13 million Lalamilo Wind Farm in South Kohala on the Big Island, which will power the County of Hawaii’s Department of Water Supply, a county executive told Pacific Business News this week.

Developed by California-based Lalamilo Wind Co. LLC, the 3.3-megawatt project on 126 acres will power the eight water wells in the area. The county’s water department is one of the biggest consumers of power on the island.

Donn Mende, deputy director of the county’s Department of Research and Development, told PBN that the wind farm is one of the most interesting projects on the island.

“It will save ratepayers $800,000 a year,” he said. “It’s just about complete.”

About four years ago, the county sent out a request for proposals looking for interested developers to design, build, own, operate and maintain the wind farm on state land leased to the county.

Lalamilo Wind Co. will own the wind farm and sell the power to Hawaii Electric Light Co. The Department of Water Supply pays HELCO about $20 million a year for electricity.