NextEra Energy plans to build Hawaii’s largest wind farm on Maui

Source: Duane Shimogawa, Reporter, Pacific Business News • Posted: Monday, February 23, 2015

A subsidiary of NextEra Energy, the Florida-based company that is buying Hawaiian Electric Co. for $4.3 billion, has plans to build the largest wind energy farm in Hawaii on the southern coast of Maui, a company spokesman confirmed to PBN.

The more than 120-megawatt project, which would be located on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands at the Kahikinui homestead on the southern slopes of Haleakala, would be built, owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources LLC, according to documents filed with the state agency that were obtained by PBN.
The Kahikinui Wind project would be built on about 500 acres and lease the land from DHHL for a term of 35 years.

“We’ve been involved in an ongoing process on Maui but any decision to move forward will be made by DHHL,” Robert Gould, spokesman for NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE), told PBN in an email.

Public documents show that NextEra’s affiliate has said that it would benefit Hawaii to develop up to 200 megawatts of additional wind or solar capacity on Maui.
NextEra also is one of the companies looking to build an undersea cable that would connect the electric grids on Oahu and Maui.

Boston-based First Wind owns the biggest wind farm in Hawaii, the 69-megawatt Kawailoa Wind project on Oahu’s North Shore.

In addition to that project, it also has three other wind farms in the state, including the 30-megawatt Kaheawa Wind I and 21-megawatt Kaheawa Wind II on Maui and the 30-megawatt Kahuku Wind on Oahu.

California-based Sempra U.S. Gas & Power owns one wind farm in Hawaii, the 21-megawatt Auwahi Wind on Maui.

California’s Champlin Hawaii Holdings LLC has plans to build a $90 million, 24-megawatt wind farm near the Kahuku Wind project on Oahu’s North Shore.

A DHHL spokeswoman told PBN Friday that it has been in discussions with NextEra, although no final decision has been made.