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Wind farm protesters gather in Kalaeloa

Exactly one month after the first arrests linked to the Na Pua Makani wind farm project were made, opponents of the project gathered in Kalaeloa Sunday night to once more attempt to stop the transport of wind turbines.

People gathered Sunday in Kalaeloa to oppose the delivery of wind turbine components for the Na Pua Makani project in Kahuku. CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Virginia-based AES Corp. is building eight wind turbines in Kahuku, which are scheduled to start operating next year. Opponents have said the 568-foot turbines are too tall and too close to homes, farms and schools.

The protesters put out a call Sunday on social media, asking for 5,000 demonstrators to show up and to not bring children.

As of 9 p.m. Sunday, around 100 protesters had gathered in Kalaeloa. Several police were also on site. The numbers were expected to grow ahead of the 11 p.m. scheduled departure of AES trucks carrying turbine parts to Kahuku.

While demonstrations have largely been peaceful, on Thursday night the protesters and police engaged in shoving and both claimed aggression by the other.

Officers arrested 26 protesters Thursday for allegedly disobeying police orders. They were among the 200 people who converged on Kalaeloa on Thursday night.

Protesters claimed that the pushing and shoving led to some minor injuries.

AES put up barricades over the weekend to block protesters from having access to the driveway in Kalaeloa that the trucks use to exit.

On social media posts, wind farm opponents said they hope to stop the caravan carrying turbine parts at least once. The caravan has been able to complete the trip from Kalaeloa to Kahuku five nights a week since beginning in mid-October.

The company said Thursday it has completed construction of the project’s first turbine and that it is more than halfway through its planned transport schedule, which will continue through Nov. 26.

To date, more than 150 arrests have been made.