Hawaii’s largest wind power project, the 69-megawatt (MW) Kawailoa Wind project on Kamehameha Schools’ Kawailoa Plantation lands on Oahu’s North Shore, is now under construction.
The wind power project will include thirty 2.3-MW Siemens wind turbines, which will produce enough electricity to power approximately 14,500 homes on Oahu Island, approximately 5% of the island’s total electricity demand.
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz, State Senator Mike Gabbard, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, and others hosted a project groundbreaking on Friday.
“This project will not only help the State meet its renewable energy goals, but it will also help preserve and support continued agricultural production for future generations,” Giorgio Caldarone, Regional Asset Manager and Renewable Energy Sector Lead at Kamehameha Schools, said. ”Kamehameha Schools is committed to sustainability and to investing in projects today that will create positive outcomes for future generations. Mahalo to the North Shore community and to everyone else who helped to make this vision a reality.”
“This is the largest wind farm in Hawai’i’s history, and it shows the progress we are making toward our clean energy goals. This is a great day for Hawai’i. We’ve moved from talking about renewable energy to actually doing it,” Lt. Gov. Schatz.
That line above that I bolded really stands out to me. The huge majority of the U.S. population supports and wants more investment in clean energy. Poll after poll after poll shows this. And a lot of folks in highly influential positions talk about supporting clean energy. But support and talk are different from action, and they generally come long before it. It’s exciting to see more and more states, localities, and nations moving forward with clean energy, and I can only hope that the others will quickly move from theoretical support and talk to action. One key reason we featured so many stories like this on CleanTechnica is because I think they inspire others to start and eventually implement such projects, or similar projects that green their world with another clean technology.
But, back to the project, here are some more details you might be interested in:
“In December 2011, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a power purchase agreement between First Wind and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), which serves more than 400,000 Hawaii customers. Hawaii state law mandates 70 percent clean energy for electricity and surface transportation by 2030, with 40 percent coming from local renewable sources. Kawailoa Wind will significantly advance the state’s progress toward these goals.”
I’m sure that clean energy mandate was a huge part of this project’s fuel. Don’t have such a mandate in your state? Or have one that you think is too weak? Organize some influential and inspirational people and get it going!