More Windmills Coming, But Not All Island Residents Approve

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Very soon, Kahuku won’t be the only place on the North Shore of Oahu with giant white windmills.

First Wind is breaking ground today on construction for Kawailoa Wind, Hawaii’s largest wind project, with 69 MW, or enough power for 14,500 homes. This is the company’s fourth project in Hawaii.


Hawaii is the state most dependent on foreign oil, and state government officials want to create more energy independence by the year 2030.

Those supporting the project include: Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair, Senate Committee on Energy and Environment Mayor Peter Carlisle, City and County of Honolulu Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind Richard Rosenblum, President and CEO, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. Dee Jay Mailer, CEO of Kamehameha Schools Antya Miller, Executive Director, North Shore Chamber of Commerce and Hermina Morita, Chair, Public Utilities Commission.

Meanwhile residents on Molokai continue to fight any windmills on their island, saying the structures are unnecessary and are ugly.

Larry Helm, well known native Hawaiian veterans’ advocate, said about 90 percent of Molokai’s 7,000 plus residents are against the windmill construction plan, which would include windmills built on Molokai that would connect to an undersea cable bringing power to the highly populated Oahu.

Molokai residents point to a now defunct windmill operation at South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii as one reason not to erect windmills. On the beachfront site, many of the steel windmills have rusted into place or collapsed.

The property where the Big Island windmills now stand was once owned by Kahuku Ranch. Kahuku Ranch sold the property to the WF Co.

While new windmills are going up on Oahu, many neighbor island residents are wondering why others have been left standing unused for decades.

One Big Island rancher told Hawaii Reporter: “The windmills were the Model T. of Mitsubishi’s and had never been tested in Japan.  Eventually they leaked oil and the wind would blow the oil quite a ways from the towers.  Why they are allowed to still stand there is a big question.  Aren’t there laws that say that they must be removed and the area cleaned up?”






  1. […] More Windmills Coming, But Not All Island Residents Approve February 18, 2012 By admin Leave a Comment var addthis_product = 'wpp-262'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":false,"data_track_addressbar":false};if (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}More Windmills Coming, But Not All Island Residents Approve Brian Schatz Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair, Senate Committee on Energy and Environment Mayor Peter Carlisle, City and County of Honolulu Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind Richard Rosenblum, President and CEO, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. Dee Jay Mailer, … Read more on Hawaii Reporter […]

  2. It would have been nice if the article addressed the question as to why First Wind is charging HECO, and consequently us, 23 cents/kwh at Kawailoa, when in 2005 they were only charging 8 cents.

    The big names that are for the Kawailoa project are mentioned but no big names that are against. Helm is mentioned as someone against the Molokai project, but no others are mentioned, nor are any big name proponents mentioned.

    The question of the derelict windmills remaining in place is brought up, but you would think that decades after the fact, an answer could be provided as to why they were allowed to remain in place and what is being done to ensure that it doesn’t happen in the future.

    I hope a follow up article is coming soon.

  3. Many residents of Lana’i continue to fight Big Wind as well. For our island, the proposal from mainland developer David Murdock and HECO is to place 174 turbines, each as tall as the First Hawaiian Bank building in Honolulu, over 1/4 — one-quarter — of Lana’i It’s a terrible idea, one that will cost residents of O’ahu a minimum of $6.25/month JUST for the undersea cable. It’s a green project all right — green for David Murdock. Say NO to Big Wind on Lana’i and Moloka’i.

  4. Appropriate photos with decaying windmills and missing blades. Symbolic on this out of date designs and what will happen with the new project.

  5. Very surprised to not hear of the publics perspective on the “obvious” EYE POLLUTION factor. Lanai, and key parts of the mainland (Palm Springs) look like futuristic robot colonys invading our pristine country lands! If you ever visit these “green” wind farms, it’s an errie, creepy feeling. Intimidating, cold, and very depressing! Ah, but that’s the goal — to get the populous to be treated for landscape depression (“it’s all in YOUR head, son”) and ignore their “green” efforts! Yes……………. Murdoch/Obama GREEN! Or for that matter, Solyndra gr$$n.

  6. I spoke to the owner of the old Kama’oa windfarm a few months ago. This facility was replaced with a much larger one down the road. I posted his response in a blog posting here:

    “I would sincerely hope that others in the wonder State of Hawaii would not look at the old Kamao’a wind farm and note that the delay in removing this equipment is the reason wind farms should not be built in this state.

    Concerning the current state of removing these turbines, several interested parties are looking at the old turbines and we have yet to determine which path to take. Our hope is that within six months the old wind farm should be in the initial stages of demolition (in fact, preliminary preparation by draining and disposing of all fluids has already been completed), and we are trying to schedule complete removal within this time frame.”

  7. No surprise Molokai is against the wind farm, they are against everything. Have you noticed the price of oil lately? Over $106 a barrel today, and that rise is just because people are nervous about Iran. Wait until something real happens again and see how expensive things get then. Fossil fuels are a dead end. There certainly are some issues with wind and solar and geothermal, but what else do you think we should do? How would you like a nuclear power plant here? Just chanting NO all the time won’t work in the long run. Sometimes you just have to give a little to get something. You can only hide from the problem for so long.

  8. The Kama’oa Wind farm is slated to be demolished within the month, according to the owner of this facility.

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