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Wind a curse and a blessing

April 26, 2012
The Maui News

First photo: A blade assembly is lifted Wednesday afternoon to the top of a 168-foot tower on the Kaheawa Wind Power farm above Maalaea. Each blade is 112 feet long and weighs about 14,000 pounds. This tower is the 13th of 14 turbines to go up for Kaheawa's second phase. Gusty trades had stalled the installations for 10 days before Wednesday's light winds allowed work to continue. Although winds from the southwest kicked up just before the lift was to start, the two crane operators and pair of crews manning guide lines worked together to make the job look easy. The first seven units of the project's second phase are scheduled to go on line next week. A battery component that will allow the wind farm to better supply a continuous output to Maui Electric Co. also is being installed. The first phase of the project by developer and operator First Wind was completed in 2006. It features 20 turbines, also manufactured by General Electric.

Article Photos

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo



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