Community leaders in Leeward Oahu are voicing opposition to the Palehua Wind project proposed for the Waianae range above their homes.
City Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine said she and other leeward community members were taken by surprise at news of Eurus Energy America Corp.’s purchase-power agreement with Hawaiian Electric Co. that entails a 13-turbine wind farm above the Kahe Power Plant since they had earlier expressed concerns about it.
Pine said in a news release that it was disappointing Eurus and landowner Gill ‘Ewa Lands were going forward with the Palehua Wind project without more consultation with residents….
Kioni Dudley, former chairman and member of the Makakilo-Kapolei- Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board, said he remains adamantly opposed to the project.
In late April, when he was chairman, the neighborhood board voted unanimously to oppose the project, expressing concerns over its impacts on animal habitats, particularly pueo (owls), as well as cultural sites and view planes.
“I don’t think I can stress how opposed I am to it,” he said. “This is just berserk. To destroy the natural beauty is just insane.”
Dudley said he is reminded of this every time he drives past Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore and sees the Kahuku wind turbines.
“I very definitely do support the energy goals but I think this is a terrible mistake,” he said. “I think putting photovoltaic on top of houses is the way to go. If we put PV on every house, we wouldn’t have any need for windmills.”
Patty Kahanamoku- Teruya of the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board said a similar wind farm was proposed a few years ago and the community did not support it then.
“Now this has come up again. It caught us by surprise,” she said. “They have not come out to Waianae.”
The neighborhood board put the proposed wind farm on its agenda for its next meeting this month, she said, and has asked a Eurus representative to attend. She said the community is concerned about the view planes and ecological sites, and does not want Eurus to move forward with the permit process without talking to the community first.
“The Waianae Coast has been ignored and taken advantage of all the time when developers and contractors come out there,” she said. “We would like to be part of the planning and what’s going on. Nanakuli and Waianae didn’t have an opportunity to hear this.”
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