A report commissioned by Castle & Cooke, which has plans to build a major wind energy farm on Lanai, has identified three potential wind resource areas on Oahu and six other areas on Maui that would total 813 megawatts of capacity.
New York-based renewable energy consulting firm AWS Truepower LLC, which stressed that identifying potential wind resource areas is only a preliminary step in the development of a potential wind farm project, said that there are a number of other steps that need to be done before moving ahead.
The report, submitted to Castle & Cooke this week, concluded that the areas that have potential to build wind energy systems include Kahe in Leeward Oahu, Kahuku on Oahu’s North Shore, Kakikinui in South Maui, Kaupo just east of the existing Auwahi Wind Farm on Maui, Paia and Haiku on Maui and Kapalua in West Maui.
Castle & Cooke, which submitted testimony on Tuesday to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission regarding the Oahu-Maui Interisland cable project, said that it supports building an undersea cable from Maui County to move abundant renewable resources to Oahu.
The Honolulu-based developer, which is owned by Los Angeles billionaire David Murdock, also noted in the filing that the planned cable project “needs to offer access to the maximum number of feasible renewable generation resources, not just resources on Maui.”
Castle & Cooke said that its research done by AWS Truepower demonstrates that the wind resources on Oahu and Maui alone are not sufficient to meet Hawaiian Electric Co.’s needs, pointing out that larger and higher capacity sites provide lower pricing and a better “public interest” solution.
“The only likely viable major wind resource on Maui is twice as far from Oahu as the wind resource on Lanai,” said developer, which is one of the largest private landowners in the state. “Because of the large need for renewable energy, the interisland transmission system needs to accommodate all potential developable resources from Maui County.”
Last July, the PUC decided to review Castle & Cooke’s 200-megawatt Lanai wind farm project in a separate filing from a draft request for proposals for 200 megawatts or more of renewable energy for Oahu.
Castle & Cooke kept the development rights of the Lanai wind farm after Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison’s 2012 purchase of 98 percent of the Pineapple Island from David Murdock, the head of Castle & Cooke.
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