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Planned Kahuku wind farm wins $117M federal loan guarantee

First Wind Holdings LLC closed on a $117 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Energy Department to build a wind farm in Kahuku, the federal agency said.

The 30-megawatt project is being built by Kahuku Wind Power LLC, a unit of Newton, Mass.-based First Wind. The project may create more than 200 jobs , the Department of Energy said today in a news release. The agency conditionally offered the guarantee to Newton, Massachusetts-based First Wind in March.

The power will be sold to Hawaiian Electric Co., Oahu’s only electric utility, under a 20-year contract. First Wind broke ground on the project this month and plans to complete it by early 2011.

The wind farm will feature a dozen 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.

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