Up to ten wind turbines could be added to Kahuku wind farm

Source: By Chris Tanaka, Hawaii News Now • Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2015

KAHUKU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – They’ve been given the green light by the state, and if construction goes accordingly, nine to ten new wind turbines will dot the hillsides above Kahuku by the summer of 2016.

The Na Pua Makani Wind Energy Project is a subsidiary of Champlin/GEI Wind Holdings LLC, a southern California based company.

The project will be split into two sites.  One will be adjacent the current wind farm, and the other will be opposite Malaekahana.

“The electricity generated at this site will flow towards Kaneohe.  So the residents of Kahuku and Laie will be using this electricity that is generated,” said Scott Bradshaw, who does community outreach for Na Pua Makani.

Once built, the nine to ten wind turbines will generate enough electricity to power the daily needs of 9,900 homes. The electricity created will be sold to HECO at a low rate, and will then be re-distributed to consumers. Bradshaw said the developer has no control of whether or not HECO will pass along those savings.

“That’s the responsibility of the PUC, or public utilities commission. In my opinion, if HECO is paying less for electricity costs, they should be passing the savings along to the consumer, not padding their profits.”

The economics of the wind farm are a big topic–it’s not where the developer has met the most concern.

“Unfortunately, it’s the visual impact.  If we could make them invisible we would, we can’t.  We have to focus on the many positive impacts associated with it.”

The public will get a chance to weigh in and ask questions at a public forum, next Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Kahuku Community Center.