Hawaii Breaks Ground On Its Biggest Wind Power Project Yet
In January 2008, Hawaii announced its plan to produce 70% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. So far, it has built wind farms on the islands of Molokai and Lana, and transported the bulk of the energy to Oahu, the most populous island in the state. Now, Oahu is the site of Hawaii's latest wind farm, which will be its largest yet.
Construction of the Kawailoa wind farm, on the island's North Shore, began this week. The $140 million project is being built by First Wind, and will consist of 30 2.3 MW Siemens turbines. Once online, it will produce enough energy to power around 14,500 homes on Oahu, or meet 5% of the island's electricity demand.
First Wind already operates a 30MW wind farm on Oahu, Kahuku Wind (pictured above). Kawailoa will produce twice as much as Kahuku, which has been operational since March 2011. Hawaii is also working with solar power; it has banned new coal plants and is experimenting with algae biodiesel.