Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

30-megawatt wind farm breaks ground in Kahuku hills

By Alan Yonan Jr.


Oahu is on its way to joining Maui and the Big Island in the effort to harness the state's famous tradewinds.

Today developers will break ground on a wind farm in the hills near Kahuku.

The 30-megawatt project on the North Shore is the first large-scale commercial wind farm on the island and includes several technological advances, such as a battery system that will help smooth out the stability of the electrical load.

The project is being built by Kahuku Wind Power LLC, a unit of Newton, Mass.-based First Wind. The wind farm will feature a dozen state-of-the-art Clipper Liberty wind turbines with a maximum output of 2.5 megawatts each. Based on expected wind speeds at the site, the system will generate an estimated 83 million kilowatt-hours annually, the equivalent of 139,500 barrels of oil.

That's enough electricity to power 7,700 homes for a year, according to the company. The wind farm is targeted for completion early next year.

The turbines will be set up on about 575 acres, most of which is owned by First Wind. The three-blade turbines will sit on steel towers 260 feet high, with turbine blades reaching a maximum of 460 feet at their peak.

The electricity will be sold to Hawaiian Electric Co. under a purchase power agreement approved by the Public Utilities Commission in May.

While the 30-megawatt output is a small part of HECO's islandwide generating capacity of 1,700 megawatts, it is part of the incremental move toward decreasing the state's dependence on oil. About 90 percent of the state's energy usage comes from imported petroleum.

"It's not a huge amount of capacity, but it's very valuable because oil prices are expected to continue going up," said Peter Rosegg, HECO spokesman.

One of the benefits of the system is that the electricity generated by the wind turbines at night can be used to charge electric vehicles as the state moves in that direction, Rosegg added.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Latest News/Updates
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout