Articles from Hawaii
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."
With its ocean breezes, ample sunlight, pounding waves and a continuously erupting volcano, Hawaii seems blessed with the means to produce clean electricity and achieve energy independence. But that isn't anywhere close to happening. For one thing, the technology isn't quite ready. The big drawback with wind and solar energy, for example, is that the flow of electricity stops when the breeze dies down and the sun sets. Since there is no good way to store the power for use later, homeowners need conventional electrical service - meaning fossil fuel-burning plants - as a backup.
Down a dirt road on America's southernmost island, 16 windmills tilt their sleek blades toward the ocean, as dependent on the whims of Hawai'i's tropical breeze as residents are on the electricity they help produce. The Hawi wind farm on the Big Island makes clean and affordable energy, but the 100-foot-tall wind turbines stop when the air is still. Most forms of renewable energy face a similar difficulty nationwide - they're cleaner than oil and coal but fall short on reliability and convenience.
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.
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) – GE Energy Financial Services announced Thursday that it was investing $270 million in wind farms in Illinois and three other states. The company, a unit of General Electric Co., is investing along with a subsidiary of Wachovia Corp. into six wind farms owned by affiliates of global investment and advisory firm Babcock & Brown. “This transaction continues the expansion of the geographic footprint and technology mix of our wind holdings,” said Kevin Walsh, GE Energy Financial Service’s managing director and leader of renewable energy. All the wind farms have either been completed or will be completed by the end of April, except the Pennsylvania operation, expected to be finished by December. In Illinois, the farms are in Lee and LaSalle counties. The other states are California, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. The announcement is the latest in a series of deals to expand GE’s foothold in wind power production. On Wednesday, GE Energy Financial Services announced that it would sell 165-megawatt wind farms in Germany for 5.2 million shares of Theolia, a Paris-based company that generates electricity from wind power. GE Energy Financial Services also purchased an additional 1.2 million shares of Theolia stock for about $26 million and could increase its ownership to up to 22 percent of Theolia. In September, GE Energy Financial Services announced it would finance the construction and operation of Tawhiri Power LLC’s wind farm in Hawaii.
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.
Both senatorial candidates as did many other candidates used the same talking points for Hawaii’s energy future. Many uniformly supported and promoted wind, solar, and ethanol, as the road to energy nirvana. The politics of Hawaii demands an absolute deference to these energy sources or risk political oblivion. But it needs to be said that a state or nation heavily dependent upon these future energy sources is in serious trouble. Yet this is where the political forces of Hawaii are leading.
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.
Whether in the workplace, the home, or the vehicles which move us, electrical demands are increasing even as we use it more efficiently. Both memory chips and power chips are getting larger and more powerful. Even our vehicles are becoming more electrified from bumper to bumper. The trends will continue. This future will need large amouns of highly controlled, reliable, and purified electricity to help the U.S. economy remain productive. Wind energy is the antithesis of such energy needs.
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.
Hawaii is about to get another major wind power project, and the details about it will be announced this week at the State Capitol.
MAALAEA – A wildfire ignited in the West Maui Mountains for the second weekend in a row, this time torching approximately 500 acres of brush just west of last week’s massive fire. Authorities believe the fire started in the area of tower No. 9 at the Kaheawa wind farm, just above 2,500 feet elevation on Kealaloloa Ridge........The causes for Saturday’s fire as well as the blaze on the Labor Day weekend were undetermined, fire officials said.
Stung by opposition that killed a proposed wind farm in Leeward Oahu but under continuing pressure to create renewable sources of power, Hawaiian Electric Co. has launched a series of advertisements telling customers it's up to them to help wean the state from its dependence on oil.
Harnessing wind Power is not new to Hawaii. Since 1980 various wind farm projects have been built in the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai and the Big Island, including the world's largest turbine for its time (1987) with mixed results and outcomes.
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.
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has signed into law a bill that raises the income tax credits for using renewable energy.
"Definitely, the renewable energy takes the pressure off the central station units," Dizon said of the Big Island's system. "But then the downside is the renewables are mostly as available. I mean if the wind stops blowing, then the generators have to start to kick up again."
ATLANTA — General Electric Co.'s GE Energy unit said Monday it will supply wind turbines for use in municipal projects in Los Angeles and Hawaii.