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.
As if Oahu’s fabled North Shore needed anymore attention because of its world-famous waves. A battle is starting to swell between the developer of an on-shore wind energy farm that is planned for the area and a community group called “Surfers 4 Solar.” They are waging a battle over the effects the giant wind turbines may be having on the waves at one of the most-famous surf spots on the planet. The surfers claim that changes in wind conditions at . . .
The state is proposing to issue an amended Incidental Take License at Kaheawa Wind Power II above Mā‘alaea to increase the amount of deaths allowed for the Hawaiian hoary bat and the nēnē during facility operations. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources proposes to approve an amended Habitat Conservation Plan to increase incidental take for the Hawaiian hoary bat from 11 to 62 adults (or juveniles surviving to adult), and for nēnē from 30 to 48 adults (or . . .
As wind farms statewide are killing more Hawaiian hoary bats than expected, a Maui wind farm is asking the state to increase the amount of endangered bats and nene it’s allowed to incidentally kill. Kaheawa Wind Power II, a 21-megawatt generation facility that ascends the slopes of the West Maui Mountains above Maalaea, wants to increase its number of permitted bat fatalities from 11 to 62 adults and nene fatalities from 30 to 48 adults over the next 15 years. . . .
A Maui wind farm wants the government to increase the number of endangered Hawaiian hoary bats it is allowed to kill, after passing the limit 15 years ahead of schedule. SunEdison Inc., owner of the 21-megawatt wind facility called Kaheawa Wind Power II, requested to increase the amount of hoary bats the facility is allowed to kill to 62 from 11 bats over its 20-year project with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. DLNR proposed to approve the increase . . .
Bats are known to be some of the world’s savviest acrobats. Using their mysterious sonar system and shape shifting wings, bats adeptly swerve and swoop and dive in flight to avoid collisions with both stable and moving objects,. And yet bats stand no chance against a 200 meter high wind turbine with blades the length of a football field, spinning at speeds up to 275 km per hour. Even if their tiny bodies can avoid a blunt force collision with . . .
President Donald Trump has disputed climate change, pledged a revival of coal and disparaged wind power, and his nominee to head the Energy Department was once highly skeptical of the agency’s value. What this means for states’ efforts to promote renewable energy is an open question. States that are pushing for greater reliance on wind and solar power are not quite sure what to expect as Trump takes over. Many of them depend heavily on federal renewable-energy tax credits, grants . . .
Hawaii’s five major wind farms are killing endangered Hawaiian hoary bats at a much faster pace than expected. The wind farms have killed 146 Hawaiian hoary bats out of the 187 they are allowed. They’ve killed that many in 6.4 years while they were expected not to reach the total for 20 years or more. The wind farms have also killed at least 50 nene – the endangered Hawaiian goose and state bird – and 26 petrels, an endangered seabird. The state . . .
Hawaiian Electric Co. is looking for developers to build wind projects on Oahu before a federal tax credit for wind power expires in 2019. HECO said building wind projects before the tax credit expires would keep electrical rates low and help the utility reach the state’s goal of getting 100 percent of its electric power from renewable energy by 2045. The federal investment tax credit for large wind projects, which was 30 percent last year, decreased to 24 percent this . . .
HILO – Hawaiian Electric Companies announced a search for potential land to house renewable-energy production. The request for information comes from Hawaiian Electric, Maui electric and the Hawaii Electric Light Co. HELCO considers the renewable energy effort part of the overall goal “to achieve 100 percent renewable energy.” Hawaiian Electric Spokesman Darren Pai said when the goal of potential 100 percent renewable energy is looked at “one of the most-important things to consider is land that’s going to be available.” A . . .
Some Hawaii residents are arguing against a proposed floating wind farm off Kaena Point, saying it could hurt wildlife and affect surfing prospects. Jens Peterson, the project’s Danish developer, said the farm could create up to 100 jobs for 10 years and help Hawaii reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, reported HawaiiNewsNow. The proposal calls for building 51 floating turbines secured by anchors and electrical cables. But the windmills could become “bird blenders” and have an . . .