Articles from Hawaii
“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.
A developer for a proposed new wind farm in Kahuku has unveiled a plan that calls for fewer turbines, but those turbines could be substantially taller than originally proposed. ...the new turbines could be as tall as 656 feet.
Eric Gleason, president of NextEra Energy Hawaii LLC, said at a Waikiki business luncheon this week that getting the state off its dependence on oil would cost $30 billion over the next three decades. ...divided among Hawaiian Electric's 455,000 ratepayers on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island, each customer would pay an additional $183 per month for 30 years.
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.