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More comments sought for North Shore wind farm  

Credit:  Duane Shimogawa, Reporter | Pacific Business News | Nov 15, 2016 | www.bizjournals.com ~~

There will be more time to comment on a California wind-energy developer’s proposed $90 million-plus wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday it is reopening a 30-day public comment period on the Na Pua Makani Wind project near Kahuku.

The agency decided that more public input on the supplemental final environmental-impact statement would benefit the plan’s development. The statement includes a modified option of a project design with fewer but larger wind turbines.

Last month, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the lease with Champlin/GEI Wind Holdings LLC’s Na Pua Makanai Power Partners LLC for the wind project. It includes 232 acres owned by the Department of Land and Natural Resources and 345 acres owned by Maleakahana Hui West, a private landowner.

Champlin hopes to start construction on the project early next year. The Na Pua Makani Wind project has been downsized to include up to eight wind turbines with a total capacity of up to 25 megawatts and could be completed by the end of 2017.

The wind farm is the company’s first project in Hawaii. Champlin and its affiliates currently have more than 4,500 megawatts of wind-energy projects under development nationwide.

The developer has applied for an incidental-take permit that would, if approved by the Fish & Wildlife Service, authorize limited unintentional killing of listed species caused by the construction and operation of the project.

The 21-year permit would authorize limited take of the threatened Newell’s shearwater and the endangered Hawaiian stilt, Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian duck, Hawaiian goose and Hawaiian hoary bat.

In accordance with Endangered Species Act requirements for an incidental-take permit, the developer has prepared a habitat-conservation plan to minimize and mitigate the impacts of incidental take likely to be caused by the project.

The public is invited to submit comments by Dec. 19 on the supplemental environmental-impact statement and habitat-conservation plan. Comments may be submitted to this email address.

Source:  Duane Shimogawa, Reporter | Pacific Business News | Nov 15, 2016 | www.bizjournals.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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