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Wind Power News: Hawaii


These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.

February 17, 2018 • Hawaii, LettersPrint storyE-mail story

Columnist didn’t go very far for her facts

Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop didn’t go very far for her facts and figures (“Clean energy and dollars are both green, so why tax the wind?” Feb. 8). She tapped a couple of Google sentences and made an article that feels good but was woefully incomplete. Norwegians buy a large percentage of electric vehicles because those cars are subsidized and the others have a huge tax placed on them. Not only are the electrics subsidized but run on, oh my gosh, . . . Complete story »

January 29, 2018 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Plans proceed for offshore wind farms

Five years after offshore wind energy burst onto the scene as an intriguing new candidate in Oahu’s future power generation mix, the idea continues to quietly gain momentum. The federal government earlier this month published offshore block maps required to auction off the rights to lease a section of federal waters for offshore wind projects off Oahu. Additionally, a fourth company has entered the competition for the right to build a floating wind farm, the only technology that would work . . . Complete story »

January 19, 2018 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Blowing in the wind: Maui Electric Co. saves money by using fossil fuels

Maui Electric Co. has been restricting the use of wind power on the Valley Isle in favor of cheaper fossil fuels in a move that seems to go against Hawaii’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, but that’s only part of the story. There are currently three wind farms operating on Maui – Kaheawa Wind Power I & II and Auwahi Wind Farm. Combined, they generated around 25 percent of the electricity used by MECO customers in 2016. Starting . . . Complete story »

December 24, 2017 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm seeks OK to ‘take’ more endangered bats

With the number of bat deaths rising faster than expected at its Ulupalakua wind farm, Auwahi Wind Energy is seeking government permission for the “taking” of more endangered Hawaiian hoary bats. A proposed amendment calls for increasing Auwahi’s take (a term meaning incidental fatalities of endangered species) from 21 to 197 through the end of the 25-year permit in February 2037. The state Department of Natural Resources has determined that a supplemental environmental impact statement is needed, according to a . . . Complete story »

December 11, 2017 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm seeks incidental take permit

KAILUA-KONA – The operator of Lalamilo Wind Farm has applied for a federal permit that would allow for the incidental taking of two endangered Hawaiian species during the project’s operation. Lalamilo Wind Co. is applying for an incidental take permit (ITP) that would authorize take of the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) and the endangered Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) as a result of the operation of the Wind Farm Repowering Project in Waimea. The permit, which also includes a . . . Complete story »

November 30, 2017 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm seeks to increase allowed number of bat deaths

Decades after the Hawaiian hoary bat was labeled an endangered species, its population remains a mystery to scientists – which is why Maui conservation groups are hesitant over one wind farm’s request to increase the number of bats it’s allowed to incidentally kill. Kaheawa Wind Power II, a 21-megawatt wind energy facility on the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, wants to increase the number of permitted bat fatalities from 11 to 62 adults and nene fatalities from 30 to 48 . . . Complete story »

November 26, 2017 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

DLNR holds hearing on wind farm plan

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), State of Hawaiʻi, pursuant to Chapter 195D, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, will hold a public hearing to receive testimony on the Kaheawa Wind Power II Draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) Amendment. Based on monitoring data obtained since the start of operations, the incidental take of the Hawaiian Hoary Bat and Nēnē is projected to exceed the currently permitted levels which require an HCP Amendment increasing permitted take . . . Complete story »

September 12, 2017 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Seabird refuge appears to be taking off

The West Maui enclosures are among several projects that TerraForm is required to implement to offset bird deaths at its wind farms. Kaheawa Wind Power I and II include 34 wind turbine generators ascending the West Maui slopes. Both sites have 20-year, state-issued licenses that place a limit on incidental bird deaths. An estimated 16 petrels have been killed at the Kaheawa I site since it was permitted in 2006, and none at Kaheawa II since it was permitted in 2012, said Mitchell Craig, TerraForm’s compliance manager for its Habitat Conservation Plan. Complete story »

August 22, 2017 • Hawaii, OpinionsPrint storyE-mail story

Big Wind has — finally — blown over

On Aug. 15, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission officially pulled the plug on David Murdock’s environmentally disastrous plans for Big Wind on Lanai. Citing the Legislature’s recent repeal of the 2012 undersea cable bill (Act 205), and HECO’s statement that it no longer needed wind from Lanai to reach its renewable energy targets, the PUC closed the door on the Murdock/Lingle/Abercrombie plan to sacrifice one-quarter of Lanai to enrich a mainland real estate developer’s bottom line. The PUC’s announcement brought . . . Complete story »

August 10, 2017 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Group pushes for revision of wind farm’s plan to protect endangered bats

A North Shore preservation group initiated state hearings this week to force the developer of a 25-megawatt wind facility to improve its habitat conservation plan for the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat. Attorneys representing Keep The North Shore Country at the hearings on Monday and Tuesday said Na Pua Makani Power Partners LLC needs to improve its habitat conservation plan for the bat, arguing the developer did not study impacts from taller turbines, or offer adequate mitigation measures for the number . . . Complete story »

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