The grid battery system is designed to hold 1 megawatt in reserve at the Wailea substation at a transformer for Maui Electric Co. for an hour during top power usage.
A 2.3-megawatt North Kohala wind farm will remain shut down until late next week while workers try to bypass a high-tech "shock absorber" that was severely damaged Monday in a fire believed to have been caused by Sunday's earthquakes.
The new wind farm on the Big Island's South Point is steadily producing power for Big Island residents. But it's not steadily shrinking local electricity bills......
But the wind power isn't lowering electricity bills even though it is locally generated, unlike the imported oil the state is so heavily reliant on.
HELCO pays for the wind farm electricity by calculating the "avoided cost" or the cost the utility would have to pay if it were to build or generate power on its own.
Lee said rates vary because they are tied to oil prices.
"Critical decisions about the size, scope, location and nature of the wind farms are being made in dockets opened before the Public Utilities Commission based upon documents that are hidden, by protective orders, from nonparties before any Environmental Impact Statement is prepared in violation of the law."
"It is time for open discussion and debate in the community on the benefits and the overall question of whether expenses associated with the Big Wind project are reasonable," McLeod wrote. "We ask guidance from the PUC on where you would like to see this discussion occur."
The mayor's office followed up the three-page letter with a request on June 6 to intervene in a PUC case.
Joint state Senate committees passed a bill that would set a minimum distance between residences and wind turbines in an agricultural district.
A couple of Kahuku residents said they were encouraged that lawmakers were listening to their testimony, but continued to be worried about a proposed buffer of 1,000 feet, which in their view is too short.
First, he ripped out the pineapples. Then he put up Four Seasons hotels and luxury homes. Next, he envisions 200 windmills towering next to a Hawaiian beach. ..."It's a place a lot of people use for hunting deer, fishing and diving," said Robin Kaye, 62, a retired photographer who lives on Lanai. "Why should this island be the power generator for Oahu? Let them build a wind farm there."
Kilauea farmer Sam Pangdan sensed change was in the air when it came to erecting wind turbines on his property.
Nearly a year and a half later, he is still waiting for that change to blow through the county Planning Commission, which worries the alternative energy resource could be a hazard for endangered birds and bats.
"We have competing interests between clean energy and birds," said Commissioner Hartwell Blake, at a commission meeting last month.
Firefighters were forced to fight a burning building without water on the North Shore Wednesday, when a battery warehouse at an Oahu wind farm went up in flames.
The battery warehouse caught on fire at the First Wind wind farm for the second time in two years. But unlike last year's small fire, the latest blaze shut down the wind farm's huge turbines.
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.
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday unanimously granted Kaheawa Wind Power II the land lease it needs to make way for 14 additional wind turbines along the Lahaina pali.
Kaheawa Wind is a subsidiary of Boston-based wind energy company First Wind.
UPC hopes that the nineteen towers would eventually be part of an overarching plan that includes a total of 140 wind turbines on Molokai, most of which would be on the island's west end. ..."We don't want to be the ones on the back burner," one attendee said during a question and answer session. "Our electricity is high...We have the right to take care of our community."
"Let Oahu build their own propellers," homesteader Hana Yasso said later.