Library from Hawaii
Hawaii's goal was to have 15 percent of its power be renewable this year, and it will beat that easily. Honolulu-based Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., which provides electricity to five Hawaiian islands, said that in 2014, 21 percent of its power was renewable. ...But getting to 100-percent will take much more than merely doing more of the same.
A state agency has rejected a request by the Friends of Lanai that would have given the community group access to confidential information on the terms and conditions of an agreement between Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison and Castle & Cooke Inc. regarding a planned wind energy farm on the Pineapple Island.
California's Champlin Hawaii will hold a public meeting to take comments about its proposed $90 million 24-megawatt wind farm near Kahuku on Oahu's North Shore. Seen in this file photo is First Wind's Kawailoa Wind project, also on the North Shore.
The hills above Kahuku have proven to be a prime place to harness power from the wind. One wind farm has already been planted and another could go up soon. It’s a plan that have some residents concerned.
The area right next to Kahuku Wind Farm could be home to “Na Pua Makani,” the proposed 24-megawatt wind energy generation facility. But those KHON spoke with say the existing 12 wind turbines are already “bad enough.”
Under the settlement, the city must install photovoltaic arrays on more than 250,000 square feet of buildings and open space at the city’s waste-to-energy H-POWER facility by 2020.
“The electrical system, which runs optimally at 60 hertz, dropped to about 15 hertz when 20.7 megawatts of power from Auwahi Wind went offline." As a result, Maui Electric was forced to load shed customers in order to protect and stabilize Maui’s electrical grid.
The company also acknowledged several potential development hurdles justifying the project’s $1.9 billion price tag. For example, the company stated there are no manufacturing or harbor facilities yet available in Hawaii that are suitable for assembling an offshore wind project at this scale. However, the company also believes it is possible to not exceed a cost of $5 million per megawatt installed.
Green energy represents a key investment in the globe’s future but, as this and other issues reveal, it can come with hidden problems the energy suppliers need to tackle head-on. Accidents are a risk in any industry, and firefighters always take their lives into their hands on the job, but improving safety records–Kahuku had multiple battery fires before the devastating 2012 incident–should be a priority if we are to achieve our green energy goals.
Hawaii’s largest windfarm developer is selling its windfarms to a “dividend growth-oriented” holding company, Terra Form Power, Inc. Fortunately for Hawai’i Free Press readers, TerraForm’s S-1 report filed with the SEC December 9, 2014 is very revealing about problems with turbines, batteries, tax credits, golden parachutes, and dead birds and bats at First Wind’s Kahuku, Oahu, and Kaheawa, Maui, windfarms.
NextEra Energy Resources, a wholesale electricity supplier and subsidiary of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE), which is buying Hawaiian Electric Co. for $4.3 billion, has locked in long-term access rights to Parker Ranch Foundation Trust lands to develop renewable energy projects.
Environmental lawyers say that the Public Utilities Commission shouldn't have signed off on the Na Pua Makani wind farm before its environmental review is complete.
The $90 million Na Pua Makani wind farm being built by California's Champlin Hawaii Holdings LLC on public and private lands on Oahu's North Shore has been approved by Hawaii regulators this week, according to a public filing.
Most concerning is the number of endangered birds and bats killed by wind turbines over a period of six years and seven months. According to statistics examined by KITV4, 25 Hawaiian hoary bats, 20 nene and four Hawaiian petrels have fallen victim to wind turbines. For a complete list of birds and animals killed by wind turbines in Hawaii, click here .
First Wind announced Thursday that the Kahuku Wind project on the North Shore of Oahu is back online at full capacity. Following a battery facility fire that suspended operations in August of 2012, First Wind worked with Hawaiian Electric Company and other experts to bring the Kahuku project back to its full capacity of 30 megawatts.
Xtreme Power’s bankruptcy filings indicate that the company has more than $10 million in debts owed to more than 50 parties. Creditors include Arnel Investments, which is owed $3.7 million, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy, which gave the company a grant under its Section 1603 renewable energy program. The energy department is owed $372,631.
Xtreme Power Inc., the Texas-based battery storage system maker that has most of its projects in Hawaii — including a 15-megawatt system that went up in flames at the Kahuku Wind Farm on Oahu — said that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while it continues to look for a buyer to purchase its operation.
Wind energy opponents sometimes cite turbines as the cause of "wind turbine syndrome," which critics attribute to the low-frequency noise and vibrations from spinning turbines. Turbines have been blamed on maladies such as vertigo, migraine headaches, panic attacks, insomnia and heart disease.
First Wind’s 30-megawatt Kahuku Wind Farm on Oahu’s North Shore, which has been hampered by a fire that destroyed its battery warehouse last year, is still only running at a capacity of 5 megawatts, a spokesman for the Boston-based renewable energy company told PBN.
Allegations in a lawsuit brought by a Lloyds of London Insurance underwriter raise questions about the competence of First Wind management personnel.