First Wind begins construction on 69MW wind project in Hawaii

26 February 2012 (Last Updated February 26th, 2012 18:30)

Wind energy company, First Wind has started construction on the 69MW Kawailoa wind farm on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii.

Wind farm

Wind energy company, First Wind has started construction on the 69MW Kawailoa wind farm on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii.

The wind farm will be built with 30 units of Siemens 2.3MW wind turbines on land owned by Kamehameha Schools and will generate enough electricity to power 14,500 homes on Oahu.

In December 2011, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a power purchase agreement under which First Wind will sell electricity generated by the wind farm to Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO).

US Senator Daniel K Akaka said this groundbreaking for Kawailoa Wind is an historic occasion for Hawaii because, as the largest wind project in the state, it will harness enough clean, sustainable energy to provide power for thousands of families on Oahu.

"Renewable electricity production makes our islands more energy self-sufficient, environmentally sustainable, and secure, which is critically important now and for future generations," Akaka said.

Hawaii state law mandates 70% clean energy for electricity and surface transportation by 2030, with 40% coming from local renewable sources.

First Wind owns and operates two other wind-energy projects in Hawaii, the 30MW Kaheawa wind farm above Maalea on Maui and the 30MW Kahuku wind farm that went online in March 2011 on Oahu.

The firm is currently building a second Maui project, Kaheawa Wind Power II capable of generating 21MW of energy.

Image: The wind farm will consist of 30 units of Siemens 2.3MW and generate enough electricity to power 14,500 Oahu homes. Photo: First Wind