The pending sale of Lana'i by Castle and Cooke's David Murdock to Larry Ellison has not brought an end to the controversy that swirls around a proposed wind project. As part of the deal, Murdock retains the right to develop a 200 to 400 megawatt wind farm on thousands of acres of land on the northwest tip of the island.
Shell said it chose the Ulupalakua Ranch site because of its powerful winds and because of its remoteness, lessening the visual impact of the wind turbines.
Projects that disturb, harm or kill protected species must receive "incidental take" permits from the Fish and Wildlife Service and be licensed by the Hawaiian Department of Land and Natural Resources. And in the case of First Wind's projects, the company will offset harm to species under special agreements known as habitat conservation plans (HCPs).
Such plans, authorized under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, allow for limited species takings in exchange for the responsible party performing other mitigation and restoration work.
"The entire project has been shrouded in secrecy. There has been no public discussion of costs, no responsible consideration of other means to meet the nonbinding goals of the state's renewable portfolio standards, and no clarity on where the proposed undersea cable might surface on Oahu," Kaye said.
If the owner of Molokai Ranch tries to stand in the way of a proposed 200-megawatt wind farm on Molokai, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the state is willing to confiscate the land needed for the project.
The actual energy output of a wind project is often substantially less than its stated capacity. For example, the Kawailoa wind project would produce about 25 percent of its 70-megawatt capacity over the course of a year, according to an analysis of data provided by First Wind in its EIS.
The fire started about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday ...Honolulu Fire Capt. Terry Seelig said an alarm sensor showed a buildup of heat, and video cameras recorded a fire starting in the battery banks. ...still burning about 4 p.m. and emitting various chemicals in smoke, which was blowing toward the mountains and not affecting homes.