Library from Hawaii
The Piʻilani Highway (Hwy 31) at Mile Marker 20 in ʻUlupalakua is now OPEN. The road was temporarily closed in both directions for about an hour and a half while crews responded to a brush fire in the area of the Auwahi Wind Farm.
“It’s a conservation conundrum,” said Phillips. “We want green energy, but are we willing to do that at the extinction of our only native land mammal?” Fish and Wildlife officials anticipate the draft of the programmatic environmental statement and each wind energy project’s habitat conservation plan will be available for public review and commentary by the end of this year.
"Enough is enough for this community" said Maeda Timson. "These wind turbines will affect the mauka views in the surrounding neighborhoods of Kapolei, Ko Olina, Honokai, Nanakai, Nanakuli, and likely beyond, for generations to come." "My attitude is let's stop this right from the start,"
The batteries are expected to be commissioned in the second half of this year, and will primarly be used to provide ramping services to smooth out wind variability, Younicos stated.
Curtailing wind energy has resulted in savings of $769,000 in 2015, $1.3 million in 2016 and $930,000 through November of last year for MECO. But this unexpected change in production cost is putting MECO in a bind. Should the utility accept more wind energy but at a higher cost, or use fossil generation, which is cheaper but has a negative environmental impact?
“Hawaii has been through so much trial and error, and we don’t even have all the information at the table,” Tuivaiti said. “We’re still trying to figure out the population. We’re still trying to figure out about the bats themselves, and here we are just kind of playing God. . . . If we keep taking, we’re going to have nothing left.”
On Thursday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a bill that requires wind farm developers looking to build in agricultural or country zones on Oahu to host a public hearing, present details to the area neighborhood board or community association and notify nearby property owners of the pending permit application.
"Currently, all major wind farms in Hawaii have exceeded their amount of take that they've been approved for. In fact, the two existing wind farms on Oahu have already killed over 70 bats in just a few years of operation," said Maxx Phillips, an attorney for Keep the North Shore Country.
The proposed offshore wind farm projects in Hawaii will have to overcome various regulatory hurdles, construction challenges and public scrutiny, if they come at all.
Hawaiian Electric Co. spokeswoman Shannon Tangonan said Wednesday the Maui utility’s purchase of power from wind facilities, instead of the utility-owned fossil fuel plants, caused the April bills to increase. ...Customers on other islands saw electric bills decrease in April.
As wind farms statewide are killing more Hawaiian hoary bats than expected, a Maui wind farm is asking the state to increase the amount of endangered bats and nene it’s allowed to incidentally kill.
A Maui wind farm wants the government to increase the number of endangered Hawaiian hoary bats it is allowed to kill, after passing the limit 15 years ahead of schedule. SunEdison Inc., owner of the 21-megawatt wind facility called Kaheawa Wind Power II, requested to increase the amount of hoary bats the facility is allowed to kill to 62 from 11 bats over its 20-year project with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. DLNR proposed to approve the increase in a bulletin called the Environment Notice from the Office of Environmental Quality Control released Thursday. “The proposed action would result in benefits at the local and state level by producing clean, renewable energy in line with Hawaii’s clean-energy goals,” DLNR said in the notice. “Effects to the Hawaiian hoary bat and nene would be offset by funding research, restoration, or land acquisition to mitigate for the take of each species. Based on the mitigation efforts, no adverse impacts to either species is anticipated.”
President Donald Trump has disputed climate change, pledged a revival of coal and disparaged wind power, and his nominee to head the Energy Department was once highly skeptical of the agency's value. What this means for states' efforts to promote renewable energy is an open question.
“We don’t think the mitigation measure and adaptive measurements have met the standards of the law,” Phillips said. “Specifically with the Hawaiian hoary bat, we don’t really know how many bats there are. … Even at those numbers, if it’s only a couple hundred and if they are killing over 50 bats, that is a huge impact to the species’ base line.”
"It's phenomenally complicated. It is very, very difficult to do. It's by a fact of a minimum ten times more complex than any other project ever tried anywhere on earth," Petersen said by phone.
The company says that on Sunday, Oct. 2., the nacelle, hub and blades on a Siemens 3.0 MW direct-drive wind turbine inexplicably separated from the tower and fell to the ground.
The blades, hub and nacelle of one of eight Auwahi Wind turbines in the Kanaio area separated from the tower and fell to the ground Sunday, an official with the wind-power generation company said Monday.
Department Deputy Chairman William Aila Jr. said Thursday that the department was notified about two weeks ago that the NextEra subsidiary would be withdrawing from the project. That was a few weeks after the PUC rejected Next-Era's $2.63 billion bid to purchase Hawaiian Electric Co. NextEra had been collecting meteorological, archaeological and biological data to try to determine the best site for the wind power project, said Aila.
NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Industries announce termination of Merger Agreement
In a 2-0 decision, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (“PUC” or “Commission”) today dismissed without prejudice the Hawaiian Electric Companies (“HECO Companies”)1 and NextEra Energy’s (“NextEra”) (collectively, the HECO Companies and NextEra are referred to as the “Applicants”) Joint Application for the Change of Control (“Application” or “Change of Control”). Commissioner Thomas C. Gorak abstained from signing the Decision and Order.