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Kahuku wind farm company completes transport of turbine parts ahead of schedule

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                People bound themselves together with PVC tubes, chains and duct tape, Sunday night, across a driveway where the convoy of delivery trucks for the Na Pua Makani wind turbine farm exited in Kalaeloa. Honolulu police arrested more people overnight in the ongoing protest against the Na Pua Makani wind farm project in Kahuku.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    People bound themselves together with PVC tubes, chains and duct tape, Sunday night, across a driveway where the convoy of delivery trucks for the Na Pua Makani wind turbine farm exited in Kalaeloa. Honolulu police arrested more people overnight in the ongoing protest against the Na Pua Makani wind farm project in Kahuku.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / Oct 22.
                                A large piece of a wind turbine is trucked from Kalaeloa to Kahuku on Oct. 22. The convoy of turbine parts, which began Oct. 17 and ran five nights a week, has ended ahead of schedule, according to AES U.S. Generation.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / Oct 22.

    A large piece of a wind turbine is trucked from Kalaeloa to Kahuku on Oct. 22. The convoy of turbine parts, which began Oct. 17 and ran five nights a week, has ended ahead of schedule, according to AES U.S. Generation.

UPDATE: 5:25 p.m.

Kamalani Keliikuli of Ku Kiai Kahuku, a group that opposes the planned Na Pua Makani wind farm, said the group plans to continue their battle against the project in the wake of the completed transport of all the large turbine parts to Kahuku.

“Even though the transport is over, we are still fighting it,” Keliikuli said.

AES U.S. Generation said earlier today that the overnight transport convoys are done, earlier than expected. (See below.)

Keliikuli said they plan to continue reaching out to the government and speaking with lawmakers to discuss their concerns.

3:05 p.m.

The transport of all of the large turbine parts for the planned Na Pua Makani wind farm project in Kahuku is completed, a company official said today.

“We have completed transport for Na Pua Makani ahead of schedule and will continue to work towards helping Hawaii achieve its 100% renewable energy future,” Mark Miller, chief operating officer of the AES U.S. Generation businesses, said in an emailed statement to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this afternoon. “The project will be operational, producing wind energy for the island of Oahu, on schedule in the summer of 2020.

“We are deeply grateful to HPD and DOT for their professionalism and dedication in ensuring the roads were safe for everyone during our transport process. No further road closures for the project are scheduled at this time,” Miller said.

The transport of turbine equipment for eight wind turbines from Kahuku to Kalaeloa began in mid-October. AES initially estimated the transport of turbine parts to continue until Nov. 26.

Police have made nearly 200 arrests, including 21 overnight, of protesters trying to block the turbine-part convoy from traveling from Kalaeloa to Kahuku five nights a week starting on Oct. 17.

Miller said, “Last week, our community engagement team renewed attempts to have meaningful dialogue with interested community members about the Na Pua Makani wind project. AES is committed to continuing those conversations to understand how we can further our commitment to being a good neighbor and give back to the community.”

Previous coverage:

Honolulu police arrested more people overnight in the ongoing protest against the Na Pua Makani wind farm project in Kahuku.

Police said officers arrested 21 people — 19 people in Kalaeloa and two people in Kahuku — for disobeying a police officer.

Those arrested in Kalaeloa were subsequently released after posting bail that ranged from $100 to $1,000, police said.

Two people arrested in Kahuku were also released after each posted $500 bail.

Since mid-October, AES Corp. has been transporting turbine parts during the late night to early morning hours from Kalaeloa to Kahuku five days a week.

The company is constructing eight turbines in Kahuku which is slated to start operating next year.

Opponents claim the turbines lead to health problems and are built too close to schools, farms and homes.

AES maintain the turbines will have no ill health effects.

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