Maui News


March 3, 2009, 9:36 AM HST
* Updated December 9, 2:05 PM
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Kaheawa Wind Power is proposing to build an additional 14 wind turbine generators that are nearly identical to the 20 that already operate in the pastures above Maalaea. The company prepared a draft environmental impact statement in February explaining that the new 21 megawatt facility would be located adjacent to the existing 30 MW wind power project.


The proposed turbines would be located on 333 acres of Conservation land that would require a lease from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Eleven of the turbines are proposed for construction west and parallel to the existing structures, with the remaining three to be located just south of the existing line.

Like the existing project, wind-generated electricity would be supplied to Maui Electric Company.

If the required land use approvals and environmental permits are granted, KWP II LLC will:
• Obtain a lease from the State Department of Land and Natural Resources.
• Create new internal service roads that connect the facility to the existing KWP I access road.
• Erect 14 General Electric 1.5 MW wind turbine generators.
• Construct an electrical substation and install interconnection facilities to connect the facility to the existing MECO power transmission system.
• Install underground electrical power lines connecting all of the turbines with the new substation.
• Install a Battery Energy Storage System adjacent to the electrical substation.
• Construct a new operations and maintenance building to house operations personnel, equipment and facility spare parts.
• Construct two permanent meteorological towers to collect data during operations.


In the archaeological inventory section of the document, an upland heiau was found within the new project area. The presence of the site was revealed following a 1999 brush fire that charred dense brush from the southwestern edge of Pu’u Lu’au. An archaeological investigation conducted in 2002 revealed that the heiau consists of two adjacent stone enclosures joined by a massive central wall. A radiocarbon study of charcoal deposits at the heiau indicates the structure likely dated to AD 1670-1770. Several pieces of branch coral were also recovered from the site, further confirming the religious nature of the site.


A preservation plan for the heiau calls for a temporary buffer around the site and archaeologist monitoring of any construction that takes place within 500 feet of the heiau.

Company officials say the project is designed to provide a source of affordable, renewable energy to Maui’s residents. Projected benefits include cost savings and reduced emissions of green house gasses. The expected life span of the facility is 20 years, after which time, the owner will either exercise an option to extend the lease or remove the facilities.

(Photos & Posting by Wendy OSHER © 2009)  *** If you found this post interesting, you might enjoy our story on assessment of a June 7, 2010 fire in Maalaea.

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