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California company plans to build $13M wind farm on Hawaii’s Big Island

A California company is planning to build a $13 million, 3.3-megawatt wind farm in South Kohala to power the eight water wells in the area operated by Hawaii County’s Department of Water Supply, which is one of the biggest power consumers on the Big Island.

The Lalamilo Wind Farm, which will consist of five 660-kilowatt wind turbine generators, will be developed by Lalamilo Wind Co. LLC, a firm that lists Richard Horn as one of its investors.

Horn is no stranger to Hawaii, as he once was in the running to develop a wind project on Maui about a decade ago.

Lalamilo Wind Co. anticipates that commercial operation of the 126-acre project may begin in the first quarter of 2015 with an 18 month construction schedule.

The developer and the county recently submitted an environmental assessment for the project.

About two years ago, the county sent out a request for proposals looking for interested developers to design, build, own, operate and maintain the wind farm, which was originally built in the 1980s, but went out of commission in 2010.

The agricultural land has since been cleared and reconditioned. The state land is leased to Hawaii County and the Water Board.

The original wind farm produced 2.7 megawatts of energy and was owned by Hawaii Electric Light Co. Lalamilo Wind Co. will own the wind farm and sell the power back to HELCO.

The wind farm also would create both construction and permanent jobs.

The Department of Water Supply pays Hawaii Electric Light Co. about $20 million a year for electricity.