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SunEdison buying First Wind for $2.4B

First Wind, which operates three wind energy projects in Hawaii, is being purchased by solar energy company SunEdison in a deal worth up to $2.4 billion.

St. Peters, Mo.-based SunEdison and its publicly traded subsidiary, TerraForm Power, said Monday that they are buying First Wind for $1.9 billion now and $510 million in payments if First Wind completes certain projects.

First Wind, based in Boston, develops, owns and operates wind projects across the U.S. It said its projects have a combined capacity of nearly 1,300 megawatts, or enough to supply more than 425,000 homes each year.

In Hawaii it is operating two projects on Oahu’s North Shore and one above Maalaea on Maui.

First Wind also has been working with Hawaiian Electric Co. on installing a 20-megawatt solar photovoltaic energy facility near Mili­lani under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

SunEdison, which develops and operates solar power plants, said the deal will make it the world’s largest renewable energy development company.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

State land use system comments sought

The state Office of Planning is holding meetings on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii island and Kauai to hear from interested stakeholders on the effectiveness of the state’s land use system.

These meetings might be of particular interest to landowners, developers, farmers, conservationists, planners and others who have had or will have experience with state land use, district boundary amendments and special permit matters.

Meetings will include an overview of the state’s land use system, and participants will be asked to share their land use system experiences and offer ideas for improving the system. Meetings are planned for:

» Thursday: 6-8 p.m., Washington Middle School, Hono­lulu.

» Nov. 25, 6-8 p.m., Maui Planning Commission Conference Room, Wai­luku.

» Dec. 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Aupuni Center Conference Room, Hilo.

» Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m., Natural Energy Lab Hawaii Conference Room, Kona.

» Dec. 10, 6-8 p.m., Kauai Planning Commission Conference Room, Lihue.

For information visit or call 587-2885

Kauai utility pursues water energy storage

Kauai’s electrical utility has won approval to pursue a new pumped-water energy storage project on the island’s west side.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources signed off on the project Friday.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative system will use a 5-mile-long buried steel pipeline to connect an upper storage pond to a lower pond.

Solar power will push water to the upper storage pond during the day. The water will be released downhill at night, when it will generate electricity by turning a turbine.

The system would generate about 25 megawatts at night, producing 13 percent of Kauai’s electricity.

The utility says the system won’t remove any water from streams or ditches. The project would be the first of its kind in Hawaii.

Japan hits recession as tax hike takes toll

TOKYO » Japan’s economy unexpectedly slipped back into recession as housing and business investment dropped following a sales tax increase, hobbling its ability to help drive the global recovery.

The world’s third-largest economy contracted at a 1.6 percent annual pace in the July-September quarter, the government said Monday, confounding expectations that it would rebound after a big drop the quarter before.

An economy is generally considered to be in recession when it shrinks for two consecutive quarters.

"GDP for July-September wasn’t good, unfortunately," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a political gathering in Tokyo shortly after his return to Japan from the Group of 20 leading economies in Brisbane, Australia.

The downturn deepens global uncertainty as growth slows in China and remains stubbornly flat in the 18-country eurozone.

Japan’s weakness could hinder growth elsewhere if its companies cut investment and buy fewer imports such as machinery, electronics and raw materials.

Though it is a small island nation, Japan is one of the world’s biggest importers of food and the third-biggest buyer of natural gas.

The U.S. economy, which grew at a 3.5 percent rate last quarter, is outpacing most of the developed world.


Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has announced the following new physicians at the Moanalua Medical Center:

» Dr. Daniel A. Brenner as a cardiologist. He completed his residency and fellowship at Stanford Hospital and Clinics and did additional fellowships at University of Cali­for­nia and San Francisco School of Medicine.

» Dr. Lien-Thanh C. Kratzke as a hospitalist. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, where she served as co-chief resident.


Hilton Hawaiian Village Wai­kiki Beach Resort has appointed Yuna Kim as Far East event and catering manager. She has experience in marketing, sales and events for Asia markets. Kim was previously sales manager at Trump International Hotel at the Wai­kiki Beach Walk.


Bank of Hawaii has promoted Nata­lie Fogle to vice president in corporate facilities. Previously she owned her own business, Architecture + Art Collaborative, in San Francisco.


Today’s ship arrivals and departures:


MNC R.J. Pfeiffer 2 p.m. 52A Guam
HL Horizon Pacific 6 p.m. 51A Tacoma, Wash.
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