All eight turbines in Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku are built as construction and commissioning activities march forward.
Hawaii State Senator Gil Riviere (D) tells KITV4 there is now a renewed political and legal charge to challenge the wind farm.
“There’s three very real legal challenges that are pending on this case,” Senator Riviere stated.
Keep the North Shore Country, a nonprofit with which Senator Riviere is involved appealed to the the City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting regarding the Land Use Ordinance for the wind farm and has been granted a hearing on March 5, Senator Riviere tells KITV4.
“If they can’t sell electricity or their not allowed to operate because they’re killing endangered species or if they have to tear down turbines because they’re in the setback I think that’s going to hurt their ability to operate,” he added.
CEO of AES, the company running Na Pua Makani, Mark Miller tells KITV4 in a statement:
“After years of studies, securing all necessary approvals and completing construction of our turbines, later this year Na Pua Makani will start delivering enough energy to power up to 16,000 homes on O‘ahu. We look forward to working with elected officials and the State of Hawai?i to achieve its renewable energy future.”
Kahuku community member Jessica Dos Santos said the following in a statement:
“Our community has been continuing to fight and we now find ourselves joining with other communities to advocate for environmental justice in the state. The Kahuku community still has the same concerns and demands as they’ve always had with this project.
We are supporting our elected officials who have introduced a package of bills to address the issues which our fight in Kahuku has exposed, in order to move our state towards a more just, safe and equitable transition to clean energy. We hope others in the state will talk to their elected officials to support us as well.
We are especially hopeful that lawmakers will support the proposition that would allow the governor to negotiate the termination of the project to protect the safety and health of our community and to right the wrongs that have been committed in this 10 year fight, as well as others that include setback minimums and longitudinal health studies in affected communities.
There are three unresolved legal issues which we hope will affect the industrial turbine project’s ability to operate in Kahuku. The challenge to the inadequate habitat conservation plan that does not meet the requirements of the endangered species act is in the intermediate court of appeals, the the Life of the Land’s Motion for Relief, which seeks to invalidate the power purchase agreement between HECO and the Na Pua Makani wind project as it did not meet the legal requirements in that process and most recently the Keep the North Shore Country petition with the Honolulu Zoning Board of Appeals, as they wrongfully permitted Na Pua Makani turbines to be located closer to homes and schools than than legally allowed under the Land Use Ordinance. The community will be at that contested case hearing on March 5th.”
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