Zoning/Planning and Hawaii
A Maui wind farm operator has filed a complaint against Maui Electric Co. and its parent, Hawaiian Electric Co., with the state Public Utilities Commission.
UPC Hawaii Holdings, which runs the Kaheawa Wind Power farm above Maalaea, is asking the commission to investigate the process the utility used in selecting a second wind farm project for the island.
UPC Hawaii had proposed expanding its current 20-turbine farm, which supplies 30 megawatts of power to Maui Electric, to add another 21 megawatts of power.
But HECO selected another project bid by Shell Wind for a farm in Ulupalakua on the east side of Maui.
HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg said the decision was based on location.
Soaring fuel prices and steady tradewinds are making wind the new oil in Hawaii. As wind companies scramble to gain a foothold across the state, Molokai Ranch land is emerging as a sought after resource.
During a Hawaii State Office of Planning meeting on Molokai in late May, it was revealed that there are two wind companies competing for the build-out of wind farms on Molokai Ranch land.
Former Hawaiian Electric Industries Chairman Bob Clarke says the transmission of electricity from Lanai to Oahu by undersea cable is feasible because the ocean isn't as deep as on some other paths considered in the past.
Castle & Cooke, which owns most of Lanai, said last week it not only has hired a Mainland company to build a solar power farm for Lanai's electric needs, but it is also seriously considering a massive wind power farm with the idea of selling the power to Hawaiian Electric for use on Oahu.
Castle & Cooke Inc. yesterday said it may build a $750 million wind farm on Lana'i that could provide 15 percent to 20 percent of O'ahu's power needs.
The company, which owns 98 percent of Lana'i, is conducting wind and other feasibility studies in preparation for a decision on whether to build what would be the state's largest wind farm, said Castle & Cooke President Harry Saunders.
"Our intention is to go forward," Saunders said yesterday. "We're hoping to have a ‘go' or ‘no go' decision by the end of the year."
Kaheawa Wind Power II LLC has applied for a state conservation district use permit to install four 200-foot-tall meteorological measurement towers to gather data on wind speed and direction for possible expansion of its wind farm above Ukumehame.
The towers, which would be secured by guy wires, would take measurements for at least six months, according to the company’s permit application.
Kaheawa Wind Power operates 20 1.5-megawatt wind turbines in the same area that produces 30 megawatts for Maui Electric Co. An environmental assessment is not required for the temporary towers.
HONOLULU – A request to negotiate a lease for state land on the Kealaloloa Ridge for expansion of the Kaheawa Wind Power plant was approved Friday but with strict conditions for additional studies on environmental and visual impacts.
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources also made clear that the authorization for the state Land Division to initiate negotiations for a direct lease did not mean a lease will be granted, Land Board Chairman Peter Young said.
Approval of a lease “will be subject to a review of all of the environmental issues,” he said.
HONOLULU – With 20 1.5-megawatt wind generators in place, Kaheawa Wind Power is seeking a lease to expand on 325 acres on the slopes above McGregor Point.
The lease request has raised concerns over environmental and visual impacts that have generated criticism from some residents of Maui, according to a report being submitted today to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Kaheawa Wind Power is seeking a negotiated lease for state land adjoining the 200-acre wind farm that went into operation in June. The submittal to the land board meeting this morning in Honolulu includes a recommendation to allow the state Land Division to negotiate a direct lease to Kaheawa Wind Power II LLC with rental of $12,000 a year.
The expansion proposal would add up to 18 wind turbines and supporting equipment capable of producing up to 27 megawatts of electrical power.
Just a few months after the state’s largest wind farm started spinning electrical power on Maui, its owners are considering doubling it in size.
In June, Kaheawa Wind Power began operating 20 wind turbines that can generate up to 30 megawatts of electricity on the windy slopes above Maalaea Harbor.
Now the company is asking the state Board of Land and Natural Resources for a lease on a 325-acre parcel of state land immediately west of the 200-acre parcel it currently occupies.
An Oregon company wants to build Hawai'i's most powerful wind farm along the Kahuku coast, not far from the green hills where Hawaiian Electric Co. is re-evaluating the area for a wind farm after failing nearby with an earlier project.
West Wind Works LLC wants to build 20 turbines capable of producing 50 megawatts of power on 1,100 acres at the northernmost point of O'ahu, including in an area near the abandoned Kahuku Airfield, said company president Keith Avery.
At the same time, Hawaiian Electric is talking to the military about testing wind patterns near Kahuku and possibly using U.S. Army land for a project.