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The first of the latest wind turbines goes up in Kahuku

“That’s the furthest one out there’s one literally right over here,” Neva Fotu said.

In Fotu’s neighborhood where she was born and raised it’s something new that she can’t ignore.

“It’s too darn big and it’s too darn close I don’t know what else to say,” Fotu said.

In plain view from the house she uses for daycare, the first large turbine one of the eight that will eventually surround the neighborhood.

“There’s no words you know I cry every day,” Fotu said.

For many in Kahuku who have already opposed the massive wind farm the first signs of what they’ve spent months fighting are coming true.

“It’s really becoming real for a lot of us in Kahuku that we see it this is going to affect us, it’s going to affect our children,” Rachel Kekaula of Kahuku said.

One is up and visible from the neighborhood and the elementary school. The stumps are there where the other seven will go, eventually towering 568 feet tall.

“And this one that’s gonna be built is not even the closest one there are 7 more that are gonna be closer to the community,” Kekaula said.

They are worried that in addition to being an eyesore what potential health impacts it could have. So as these turbines keep coming some are considering leaving the only place they’ve known.

“My dream is to raise my children the way I was raised and for that to be stripped away for us it’s disheartening,” Kekaula said.

Chief Operating Officer for the AES US Generation businesses, Mark Miller, released the following statement:

“We are pleased Na Pua Makani is one step closer to helping Hawai’i achieve its 100% renewable future. Construction of the first turbine is complete, and we are more than halfway through our planned transport timeframe, which continues through Nov. 26.

AES is deeply grateful to HPD and DOT for their skillful job managing transport and ensuring everyone’s rights are protected and that everyone remains safe.”