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HECO to buy wind power from North Shore project

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Hawaiian Electric Co. will pay a developer 22.9 cents a kilowatt hour for electricity produced by a proposed 69-megawatt North Shore a wind energy project that will be the state’s largest when completed next year.

The pricing was approved Monday by the state Public Utlities Commission.

The price charged by Boston-based First Wind LLC is comparable to electricity produced by the company’s 30-megawatt wind farm in Kahuku that began feeding power in to the HECO grid in March. Both rates are well below the 35.1 cents a kilowatt hour HECO is charging its residential customers on Oahu in December.

The price that HECO pays for electricity produced by independent power producers like First Wind is passed straight through to consumers.

First Wind’s latest project, called Kawailoa Wind, is being built on former sugar cane land northeast of Haleiwa. The project, scheduled to be completed late next year, is projected to generate enough energy to supply 14,500 homes.

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