Some Hawaii residents are arguing against a proposed floating wind farm off Kaena Point, saying it could hurt wildlife and affect surfing prospects.
Jens Peterson, the project’s Danish developer, said the farm could create up to 100 jobs for 10 years and help Hawaii reach its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, reported Hawaii News Now. The proposal calls for building 51 floating turbines secured by anchors and electrical cables.
But the windmills could become “bird blenders” and have an impact on swells prized by surfers, said Robert Justice, a member of the North Shore Neighborhood Board.
“It will directly affect Pipeline, Jocko’s, all the good west swell breaks,” Justice said Wednesday. “We just had a world champ, John John (Florence), come out of the North Shore. It’s a breeding ground for good surfers. And everyone in the world comes to visit us, and to even chance destroying that, it’s just beyond words to me.”
Peterson said the project’s scope is unprecedented and “phenomenally complicated.”
“It is very, very difficult to do,” Peterson told the news station. At minimum, he said, the proposal is “10 times more complex than any other project ever tried anywhere on Earth.”
It’s unlikely that the turbines will be visible from land, according to Peterson.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will decide whether the location is suitable.