Maui Business

Kaheawa Wind Farm Second Phase Goes Online

July 6, 2012, 10:04 AM HST
* Updated July 6, 10:13 AM
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The last turbine of First Wind’s Kahaewa Phase II wind farm is installed. Photo courtesy of First Wind.

By Sonia Isotov

Commercial operations began yesterday for First Wind’s 21 megawatt (MW) Kaheawa Wind II project above Maalaea.

Located adjacent to the site of its Kaheawa Wind I project, which achieved commercial operations in June 2006, the Kaheawa Wind II project went online almost exactly six years later.

At 51 MW, the combined output of Kaheawa Wind I and II has the capacity to generate enough energy to power up to 18,700 Maui homes annually.

RMT, which began construction on Kaheawa Wind II in 2011, oversaw all civil and electrical infrastructure including a 34.5/69-kV substation, 34.5 kV electrical collection system, and interconnection to the 69 kV Maui Electric Company (MECO) transmission line.

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The Kaheawa II project also features a state-of-the-art battery storage system developed by Xtreme Power of Austin, TX.  Its Dynamic Power Resource is a utility‐scale battery system that will maximize wind energy efficiency and helps MECO maintain reliable service for its customers.

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As part of Kaheawa Wind I, First Wind implemented the first-ever Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for a utility-scale wind project.  In addition to the project’s Environmental Impact Statement, the HCP was developed to ensure a long-term net conservation benefit is provided for three state and federally listed threatened and endangered bird species and the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat, which could be affected by the project.

For Kaheawa Wind II, First Wind expanded its conservation initiatives and developed a second HCP which provides additional conservation benefits for the same four species, and extending the minimum duration of the HCP by an additional five years.

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