Kahuku, Hawaii — First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company with wind projects in Hawaii, today announced that the Kahuku Wind project on the North Shore of O’ahu is back online at full capacity. Following a battery facility fire that suspended operations in August of 2012, First Wind worked with Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and other experts to bring the Kahuku project back to its full capacity of 30 megawatts (MW).
“We sincerely appreciate the support and patience of the Kahuku community during this period and are happy to announce that the project is back online at full capacity,” said Ryan Pierce, operations manager for First Wind’s Hawaii projects.
An updated Interconnection Requirements Study was conducted and determined that a new technology could replace the need for a battery system at the site. The new Dynamic Volt-Amp Reactive (DVAR) system is a cost-effective way to provide continuous voltage regulation. The recently installed technology also improves voltage stability on HECO’s grid, as well as meets interconnection requirements.
“We’re thrilled to utilize this new technology to safely generate clean, renewable energy for the island of O’ahu,” added Pierce.
The Kahuku Wind project’s 12 wind turbines have been fully maintained since the shutdown in 2012 and testing of turbines and new DVAR technology began in September 2013. The project returned to service, but in a limited capacity of 5 MW. Late last month, HECO gave the go ahead for the project to return to full service.
At full capacity, the wind project produces enough power for up to 7,700 homes on O’ahu. In addition to creating energy, the Kahuku Wind project follows a Habitat Conservation Plan, designed to provide a net benefit to threatened and/or endangered native habitat at the project site.