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.
Higher costs for wind power in April increased the bills for electric utility customers on Maui. Typical Maui Electric Co. customers saw a $7.03 increase in April from March, as the average bill for a Maui household using 500 kilowatt-hours is $155.35, or 29.1 cents a kilowatt-hour. In March, the bill was $148.32, or 27.7 cents a kilowatt-hour. Hawaiian Electric Co. spokeswoman Shannon Tangonan said Wednesday the Maui utility’s purchase of power from wind facilities, instead of the utility-owned fossil . . .
Wind farm developers looking to build in agricultural or country zones on Oahu must host a public hearing, present details to the area neighborhood board or community association and notify nearby property owners of the pending permit application, according to rule changes adopted by the Honolulu Planning Commission. The commission’s six members voted unanimously Wednesday to change the City’s Land Use Ordinance. The changes now go to the City Council for approval, then the mayor has to sign off. The . . .
Hawaiian Electric Companies has rolled out a statewide plan that sets a goal for Molokai of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. Over the next three years, the electric utility is proposing 1.4 megawatts (MW) of additional photovoltaic energy to be added to the island’s existing 2.3 MW of energy coming from rooftop solar panels, as well as 5 MW of wind energy. The plan also calls for a transition to biofuel for “some” of the island’s 12 MW of . . .
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 . . .