A group opposed to a planned wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore are protesting along Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku today in an effort to stop development of the project.
“We do plan to stand our ground because our kids and our kupuna and our community, they’re important to us and we plan to stay out there for as long as we have to to ensure the safety of our people and our community and Native Hawaiian wildlife,” said Kananiloaanuenue Ponciano, president of Ku Kiai Kahuku.
Approximately 200 people participated in a peaceful demonstration against the project at Kahuku District Park at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The community is going to be “impacted by these monstrous turbines that are being planned to come in essentially in our backyards,” Ponciano said.
At about 9 p.m., more than 25 opponents of the project, including community members from Waianae, Kapolei and Waimanalo, were successful in halting equipment for the project from leaving a baseyard in Kalaeloa.
Members of Ku Kiai Kahuku camped overnight near the entrance of the Kahuku Agricultural Park where a roadway leads to a site slated for the installation of four of the eight turbines.
Community members dropped off cheeseburgers and pizza Sunday night and homemade muffins, fruit and bottled water this morning at an open canopy tent set up near the park outfitted with Hawaii state flags flying overhead and ti leaves tied to tent poles.
The demonstration continued this morning with sign-waving where motorists honked their horns as they drove pass to show their support.
Ponciano said, “There has been an overwhelmingly wave of love and support not only from our community but the entire island of Oahu.”
The planned wind farm would be the second wind farm in Kahuku and the third on the North Shore.
Ayesha Liquorish of Ku Kiai Kahuku said Kahuku that is comprised of approximately 2,300 residents will be surrounded by wind turbines. “What other community is surrounded by turbines?” she asked.
The planned wind farm is being developed by Virginia-based AES Corp., which is operating in Hawaii as Na Pua Makani Power Partners.
Ku Kiai Kahuku also contend the planned wind farm will cause contamination to drinking water, claiming the project is slated to be situated on two watersheds.