Library filed under Impact on People from Hawaii
About 50 people today waved signs with captions like "Too Big -- Too Close.” Demonstrators have been sharing their displeasure over the project for more than a year now.
The closest turbine is approximately 1,700 feet away from the nearest home, and about approximately 1,750 feet from Kahuku High School. Area-elected officials told Kahuku residents at a community meeting Wednesday night that there are new bills to greatly increase that distance for future wind turbines. "Everybody can tell they’re too big, too close,” said the area’s State Senator Gil Riviere.
"After everything the community of Kahuku has gone through, I think the one lesson definitely learned is that the process wasn't followed in a way that really addressed the community's concern about how close these turbines are to farms, homes and schools," Councilmember Tsuneyoshi said. If passed, Tsuneyoshi's resolution would require that companies build turbines of more than 100 kilowatts at least five miles away from property lines.
The refusal of all-renewable advocates to consider the cartoonish land requirements of their schemes and how those plans are affecting ordinary people in rural areas is perhaps the single biggest disconnect in the current energy debate. How cartoonish? Last year, two Harvard researchers found that meeting current U.S. electricity needs with wind would require covering a land area twice the size of California with wind turbines. That’s beyond Looney Tunes.
If Kahuku’s residents have their way, it won’t be the law much longer. Community members are lobbying legislators such as Sen. Gil Riviere, who said he is drafting legislation to increase setback distances for turbines. “I’m just trying to prevent the rest of the island from having to live with the things the Kahuku community is going to have to live with,” said Kamalani Keliikuli, vice president of Ku Kia’i Kahuku, a community group fighting against additional turbines.
The group Keep the North Shore Country has taken the case to the Intermediate Court of Appeals. “We are gathering our people together to try to get our voices heard to let the government know we do not want any more turbines, especially right behind our children’s elementary school. It is way to close. Way too close,” Muaina said.
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.
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.
It was one of the biggest cases the Department of Health's Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office has ever had. But they left the air, water, and soil sampling in the hands of First Wind. ...Lawmakers aren't sure that should be the case.
One of the island's two major wind farms tripped off-line briefly today, cutting off electricity for a wide swath of Hawai`i Electric Light Co. customers.
Friends of Lāna‘i (friendsoflanai.org) commissioned this video to help explain how a proposed 400 megawatt industrial wind power plant will impact the people and environment of the small Hawaiian island of Lāna‘i. The project could consume up to ¼ of the island and all the power would be sent to the island of O`ahu by an undersea cable that would run through the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. According to one State official, it is estimated that this intermittent power source would supply just 10% of O'ahu island's electricity. Castle & Cooke, the Los Angeles-based developer of this proposed wind power plant, stands to earn over one hundred million dollars every year while Lāna‘i's electricity would continue to be provided by fossil fuel. Duration: 20 minutes 34 seconds
Objections are varied, ranging from concerns about the impact on the natural beauty of the islands to the potential desecration of cultural sites to the loss of access to fishing and hunting areas from such massive projects.
But anyone who has been close enough to such behemoths, either along the highways in southern Spain, on the coast of Nova Scotia, near the sand dunes on Prince Edward Island and in southern Alberta, knows that they are noisy and intrusive, regardless of their green credentials. Nobody in his right mind would want to live within earshot of these things.
But please do not support this Oahu industrial wind power plant on Lanai that is too expensive and has a negative cost/benefit to taxpayers, ratepayers and all Hawaii residents. It is an example of "green greed," that benefits the developers through artificial government tax credits and not the people of Hawaii.
A massive wind farm proposed for Lanai has been anticipated as a major potential source of green power for Honolulu, but it remains a controversial project on the Pineapple Isle. Castle & Cooke Resorts has proposed to erect as many as 200 wind turbines on 12,800 acres on the remote northwestern end of the island and lay an undersea cable that would send the power to Oahu. While some support a project that could be a revenue-generator for the island's biggest employer, many express deep concerns.
Kahuku resident Kent Fonoimoana said he feels a proposed site for wind turbines to generate electricity is too close to his home. "It's not good if it's right here," he said, noting that West Wind Works LLC's site is about a quarter mile away. "It's going to have a negative impact on property values."
At the Blue Ginger Cafe, several residents who talk about a plan for a major wind farm on Lanai are worried the new technology will lead to the end of game hunting on their island. "If they going to stop hunting, that's going to be a bad thing to do," said Sam Shin, a retired pineapple worker. "It's going to cause problems." Castle & Cooke Resorts LLC is developing a plan to build a 300-megawatt wind farm on its land in northwestern Lanai, an area frequented by hunters.
Those blinking warnings lights on wind energy machines at the northern tip of the Big Island have residents blinking mad.