Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kaheawa Wind Power Proposes Maui Wind Farm Expansion

Kaheawa Wind Power II LLC, owned and operated by First Wind, is proposing to construct and operate a 21 megawatt (MW) wind power generating facility and related improvements at Kaheawa Pastures above Maalaea, Maui.

According to the Project's final environmental impact statement (FEIS), the Project will consist of constructing 21 MWs of wind energy generating capacity.  Fourteen General Electric (GE) 1.5 MW wind turbine generators (WTG) would be added to the above pictured site in a string along the existing access road approximately 2,000 feet southeast of the southern end of the existing KWP I turbine string.

The Project's objectives are listed in Section 1.3 of the FEIS as follows:
  1. Bring on-line at the earliest possible date a 21 MW wind power generating facility on the island of Maui to increase the portion of Maui’s energy derived from renewable sources and reduce dependencies on fossil fuels.
  2. Minimize the cumulative costs, environmental and visual impacts of the new facility by sharing key infrastructure (i.e., access road, equipment parts, construction equipment) with the existing KWP I wind farm.
  3. Locate the additional generating capacity in such a way as to minimize the need for additional MECO power interconnection infrastructure, thereby avoiding unnecessary economic and environmental impacts associated with connecting to the MECO system.
  4. Ensure that the size and operating characteristics of the new wind farm are compatible with MECO’s overall system requirements to facilitate its integration into the company’s grid.
  5. Locate the wind farm in an area with compatible surrounding land uses.
  6. Ensure that the new facility is compatible and compliant with the approvals granted for the KWP I site and all their associated conditions.
  7. Maintain environmental quality and contribute to maintaining electrical energy costs at a reasonable level.
The Project is anticipated to commence commercial operations in the second quarter of 2011.

For more on energy related projects and issues, see Energy.

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