The Hawaiian Homes Commission has struck a deal with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc. – the Florida energy giant proposing to buy Hawaiian Electric Co. for $4.3 billion – for the development of a 60-megawatt wind farm on the southern coast of Maui, according to public documents.
The Hawaiian Homes Commission has granted a right of entry permit and a 20-year general lease to NextEra affiliate Boulevard Associates LLC.
The commission also last week authorized its chairman to negotiate final terms and conditions of the lease that covers about 500 acres for the planned Kahikinui wind energy project. The actual wind project is expected to be built on 30 of those 500 acres.
The approval of a lease is the culmination of a long process by the commission back in 2013 aimed at taking advantage of lands in the area to develop renewable energy projects that would generate revenue for the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust.
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands said it pursued a wind project at Kahikinui because of its excellent wind resource.
DHHL noted that four wind farm developers submitted letters of interest to develop a project on that site, eventually choosing the NextEra Energy affiliate.
A power purchase agreement between Boulevard Associates and Maui Electric Co. has yet to be finalized, and still needs the approval of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.
The project was first reported by PBN.
Boulevard Associates also said it anticipates responding to a future Maui Electric request for proposals to purchase energy from renewable energy projects on the Valley Isle.
Boulevard Associates said that its wind project is not dependent on the construction of any undersea cable project between Maui and Oahu, and the project also is not dependent on the proposed acquisition of Hawaiian Electric by NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE).
The project, which would be built on the southern slopes of Haleakala, would be the eighth wind farm in Hawaii. SunEdison, formerly First Wind, has four of those wind farms. Currently, there are seven wind farms in the state.
California’s Champlin Hawaii Holdings LLC has plans to build a $90 million, 24-megawatt wind farm near SunEdison’s 30-megawatt Kahuku Wind project on Oahu’s North Shore.
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