Wind farm construction begins
HONOLULU - Heavy construction on Hawaii's largest wind farm is under way.
The Kawailoa Wind Project on Oahu's North Shore will supply electricity for an estimated 14,500 homes.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday Wisconsin-based RMT Inc., recently started work on major features of the project, including the foundations that will anchor 30 wind turbines. The project is expected to be operating by the end of next year.
Kawailoa Wind Power is a subsidiary of Boston-based First Wind. Under the contract, it will sell renewable energy at pre-determined prices over 20 years. First Wind also operates two other Hawaii wind energy projects.
Hydropower project killed
WAIMEA, Hawaii - A major hydropower project on the Big Island will not go forward, despite Gov. Neil Abercrombie's assurances that the $1 million plant in Waimea would be built.
West Hawaii Today reports the plant was meant to be part of a larger watershed protection project for the interior region, in the heart of Hawaii's ranching industry.
But Hawaii Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Janelle Saneishi says a recent feasibility study showed the project's costs outweighed its benefits because the water would flow through the pipeline inconsistently so it wouldn't generate enough power to make it worth the investment.
Other projects, including a $300,000 project in Hamakua to repair reservoirs and tunnels for a nearby irrigation system, will go forward.