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Wind energy incursions into sacred sites

Waimea Valley is of enormous historical and cultural significance.

The great spiritual leader Pa‘ao arrived in Hawai‘i in the 12th century. He and his descendants were the kāhuna nui who presided over the valley until 1819.

The Valley has several important structures including the Hale O Lono Heiau near the entrance to Waimea Valley. Two other heiau flank the cliffs above the valley. The valley is home to several fishing shrines, agricultural terraces and historic living sites.

The 1875-acre valley was acquired by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) in 2006.

Kamehameha Schools proposed that wind generation turbines be built on land they owned in Haleiwa on the North Shore of O`ahu.

Kamehameha Schools picked First Wind as the developer. First Wind had built the nearby Kahuku Wind Generation Station with broad community support.

There was almost no opposition to First Wind’s proposed Kawailoa Wind project.

The mauka towers were built first. As the makai towers started to be erected, community concern began to escalate.

The turbines can be seen from many vantage points in an around the North Shore from Wahiawa to Haleiwa and the Ka`ena Point Natural Area Reserve.

On February 26, 2013, O`ahu’s North Shore Neighborhood Board adopted an anti-industrial scale wind Resolution:

“A large segment of the community is upset by the visual blight this project has caused on the landscape of the North Shore, renowned for its beauty and amazing view planes, especially in Waimea Valley. …Be it Resolved that the North Shore Neighborhood Board advocates that no more large commercial windmill projects be built in Hawai`i. Be it further resolved that the Environmental Impact Statement process be amended to ensure that those properties and people be directly informed of those impacts with visual simulations equal to what the human eye sees.”