Oahu Gets First Utility-Scale Wind Project

John Davis

Paradise just got greener as ground was broken on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu’s first utility-scale wind energy project today.

This press release from First Wind says the wind energy company has begun construction on its 30 MW Kahuku Wind project on Oahu’s famed North Shore and could provide power for up to 7,700 homes each year:

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle led the celebration, as she, officials from First Wind, community leaders and others conducted a traditional groundbreaking ceremony using o’o (Hawaiian digging sticks).

“The Kahuku Wind project brings Hawaii another step closer to reducing our state’s dependence on imported foreign oil and increasing our energy security,” said Governor Lingle. “These wind turbines will provide another source of clean energy for Oahu’s power grid, further building on the progress Hawaii has made in becoming a world leader in clean energy.”

Construction of the Kahuku Wind project, which was spurred along by an expected $117 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will create immediate economic benefits for Oahu such as employment opportunities during design, engineering and construction including approximately 200 construction jobs. The loan guarantee is expected to close soon.

The project is part of Hawaii’s plan to have 70 percent of the state’s energy come from clean energy by 2030.