Maui News

Auwahi Wind Farm Goals to be Presented at Ulupalakua Cares

August 19, 2011, 12:10 PM HST
* Updated August 19, 2:13 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Maui's first windfarm project, the Kaheawa Windfarm, is located in Maalaea, as pictured in the above photo. The new Ulupalakua project is designed to capture wind resources on the other side of Maui's isthmus along the Slopes of Haleakala. Aerial photography by Wendy Osher.

Developers of the planned Auwahi Wind Farm will host a presentation on their project goals at the upcoming Ulupalakua Cares event next month. Following its completion in 2012, the 21-megawatt wind farm aims to take advantage of the wind-rich environment of Ulupalakua Ranch.  The project, when complete, is expected to generate enough electricity to power an between 6,600 and 10,000 Maui homes.

The presentation will run from 1:30 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 4, 2011 on the grounds of Ulupalakua Ranch.

Mitch Dmohowski, the director of commercial development for Sempra Generation, will lead the presentation.  He is expected to describe the goals of the project and planned benefits for the local community.

Continuing the theme of sustainability, the Ulupalakua Cares event will also feature representatives from key Maui environmental groups who will be on hand to discuss their latest efforts.

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Exhibitors include Ulupalakua Ranch, Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Natural Area Reserves System, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Friends of D.T. Fleming Arboretum, Maui Invasive Species Committee, and Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission, Native Hawaiian Plant Society, and Friends of Haleakala National Park.

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The Ulupalakua Cares in September highlights the Ranch’s history of protecting and conserving open spaces.  Currently, more than 50 species of endangered or rare native trees are being restored on ranch land. “Working together with dedicated volunteers and partner organizations, we are able to take steps every year that help ensure the future health of the environment,” said Ulupalakua Ranch president Sumner Erdman. “‘Ulupalakua Cares’ gives us an opportunity to share this important work with the community.”

About the Ulupalakua Cares event:

Maui’s Winery and Ulupalakua Ranch Store invite the public to come Upcountry for Ulupalakua Cares, on Sunday, September 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

David Kamakahi. Courtesy Photo.

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Ulupalakua hosts quarterly Sunday Drive events to share and honor different aspects of this unique historic area.  The Fall Ulupalakua Cares event celebrates a commitment to agriculture and open space in the community.

Each event features live music on the grounds of Maui’s Winery, lunch specials at Ulupalakua Ranch Store, free wine tasting and tours, and opportunities to learn more about the area’s history and culture.

Highlights of this free, community event include live music by local musicians, a walking tour of Ulupalakua’s historic trees, and an talk about wind energy on Maui. There will also be informational exhibits by local conservation groups, free wine tasting, and food available for purchase.

The music lineup begins with Uncle Benny Uyetake playing jazz ‘ukulele on the lanai of the Ulupalakua Ranch Store at 11:30 a.m. Then at noon, Hana’s own CJ Helekahi will perform on the winery grounds, sharing his lifelong love of Hawaiian music. Later in the afternoon, from 2 to 4 p.m. David Kamakahi and Herb Ohta Jr.—both sons of famous musicians–will perform.  Kamakahi won a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for best contemporary album in 2005 for his solo debut Pa‘ani, and is known for his versatility with the ‘ukulele. Ohta is also a Hoku award winner for his instrumental album Ukulele Nahenahe.

The event also features a walking tour beneath the shady canopies of 150-year-old trees.  Renowned arborist and professor Ernest H. Rezents will lead visitors on the Magnificent Tree Tour, beginning at 11 a.m.

The event will also share some new lunch specials from Ulupalakua Ranch Store Deli & Grill. New chef Eric Sakai, will offer two dishes featuring Ulupalakua Lamb: a Roasted Lamb Sandwich with Waipoli Greens, Black Olives and Aioli on a French Roll, and Lamb Slow-cooked in Ulupalakua Red Wine with Root Vegetables and Rice.  The Grill will also offer Chef Sakai’s take on the Ranch’s famous Beef and Elk Burgers, along with Ulupalakua Steak Chili and Chow Fun.

Maui’s Winery also offers free wine tasting in the historic King’s Cottage Tasting Room. For this Sunday Drive event only, visitors may sample the 2009 Plantation Red Maui County Syrah—a limited estate wine made from Syrah and Carnelian grapes handpicked on the slopes of Haleakala.  Only 300 cases were produced.

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