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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 do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

March 30, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Residents and policymakers battle over Hawaii wind energy projects

Concerns about renewable energy projects are spreading from street protests to the halls of lawmaking bodies, as state and local legislators are considering measures that could hinder the ability to build the solar and wind farms needed for the state to meet its clean energy goals. Both the Hawaii Legislature and the Honolulu City Council were considering measures that restrict the placement of wind farms, such as AES Corp.’s controversial Na Pua Makani project in Kahuku on Oahu’s North Shore. . . . Complete story »

March 26, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Developer of Palehua Wind farm in Waianae withdraws its bid

Palehua Wind, a 46.8-megawatt wind farm proposed for Waianae on Oahu has been scrapped after four years of planning, according to Eurus Energy America, the company that was developing it. In a statement posted to the project’s website, Eurus said it had withdrawn its bid. “After dedicating four years to develop the Palehua Wind project in West Oahu, Eurus Energy America has decided to withdraw its bid,” said Eurus in its statement. “After much consideration, the risk factors associated with . . . Complete story »

March 10, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Zoning proposal could restrict Oahu wind farm installations

“The community of Kahuku has had serious concerns about the construction of windmills right behind homes, residences, farm dwellings, and schools,” said Tsuneyoshi, whose proposal would not affect the AES project. The resolution instructs the city Department of Planning and Permitting to amend the land use ordinance to require wind-power machines with capacity of more than 100 kilowatts to be set back at least 5 miles (8 kilometers) from their property lines. Complete story »

March 1, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Native bat could crinkle Kahuku Wind Farm Project plans

A native bat could put a crinkle in a Kahuku Wind Farm Project. The Hawaii Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge against the habitat conservation plan for the Na Pua Makani wind project. The group called Keep the North Shore Country says the project could potentially kill or injure the opea’pea or Hawaiian Hoary Bat, as well as other endangered species. They believe Na Pua Makani is not doing enough to protect the species. They’re also contesting the . . . Complete story »

March 1, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge from Kahuku wind farm opponents

Could a small bat derail some big plans for an Oahu wind farm? It’s the latest challenge to the controversial Na Pua Makani wind project in Kahuku. The endangered Hawaiian hoary bat or ‘ope’ape’a calls that area home, and some people are saying the wind farm developers – AES US Generation- don’t have a permit to move the bats. The Hawaii Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge against AES’s habitat conservation plan and Incidental Take License. The group, . . . Complete story »

February 10, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Controversial Kahuku wind farm is built, what’s next?

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 . . . Complete story »

February 6, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

North Shore community fights for a louder voice in planning of future projects

Eight newly-installed wind turbines of the Na Pua Makani wind farm are now up in Kahuku. The closest turbine is approximately 1,700 feet away from the nearest home, and about approximately 1,750 feet from Kahuku High School. Area-elected officials told Kahuku residents at a community meeting Wednesday night that there are new bills to greatly increase that distance for future wind turbines. “Everybody can tell they’re too big, too close,” said the area’s State Senator Gil Riviere. AES, the company . . . Complete story »

February 4, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Hawaii’s push for renewable energy could stall over public opposition to facilities

Renewable energy projects also have spawned large demonstrations. In Kahuku, more than 160 people were arrested last year after staging protests of AES Corp.’s Na Pua Makani wind farm – a project being developed on state agriculture land despite longstanding opposition by residents. Renewable energy projects on Maui and the Big Island have been hindered by litigation. And the pushback comes as Hawaiian Electric is really just getting started. The utility has solicited bids from third parties to develop a massive array of projects. On Oahu alone, the company expects 20 to 29 contracts with private developers and a total investment of $2.5 billion to $4 billion, including land costs. Complete story »

January 30, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Governor calls for more renewable energy development, including hydropower, offshore wind

Hawaii’s chief executive says, under current industry estimates, there is not enough land to cover the state’s energy needs solely using photovoltaic solar. But he sees promise in other options for the state to reach 100 percent renewable energy. In an interview with HPR this week, the second-term governor said there has been an acceleration of renewable energy projects coming online, and consumers are seeing savings. Ige has made pursuit of the state’s renewable energy goal one of his signature . . . Complete story »

January 23, 2020 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Court: County cannot redefine ‘real property’

The Hawaii Supreme Court said Tuesday that Maui County did not have the power to include wind turbines as “real property” when it taxed major wind farms on Maui. The court upheld an earlier decision by the Tax Appeal Court that the county exceeded its authority under the Hawaii Constitution when it changed its rules to allow wind turbines to be assessed for real property taxes – shortly after an appeals court had decided that wind turbines should not count . . . Complete story »

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