Sempra U.S. Gas & Power plans to significantly expand its 21-megawatt Auwahi Wind project at Ulupalakua Ranch on Maui by adding some 40 more wind turbines, which would equate to 120 megawatts more of energy, a Sempra spokesman told Pacific Business News.
The spokesman for the California-based company, a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) said that the major expansion is in response to a request for proposals from the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, which is looking to lease up to 1,400 acres of its land on Maui to developers for renewable energy projects such as biomass, wind, solar or hydro.
“We’re one of 50 developers that have a proposal in front of DHHL,” the spokesman said. “[The proposals] are going to be reviewed at meetings this week.”
The expansion, according to the spokesman, will rely heavily on the plan for an undersea cable project.
The additional 120 megawatts would be piped through the multi-billion-dollar cable from Maui to Oahu.
Earlier this month, I reported that Castle & Cooke Inc., which has the rights to build a wind farm capable of producing up to 400 megawatts of energy on Lanai, is apparently moving ahead with its plans.
This project would also use the undersea cable to give Oahu much needed energy.
Hawaiian Electric Co. is still working to release a request for proposals for 200 megawatts of variable renewable energy titled, “Renewable Energy and Undersea Cable System Projects Delivered to the Island of Oahu” later this year, pending approval of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.
Last June, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill that sets up the regulatory framework for the undersea cable that would transmit electricity between Hawaii’s islands.
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