Article

Wind Farm Controversy

Locals debate the construction of the Kawailoa wind farm on the North Shore

| posted on September 24, 2012

When finished, the Kawailoa wind farm on the North Shore will become the largest in the state. Photo: First Wind

A wind farm development in the hills that overlook the North Shore is being met with disapproval from some North Shore residents. When completed in November, the Kawailoa wind farm, which will contain 30 turbines and stretch across the North Shore, will be the biggest wind farm in the state. Proponents to the development argue that the farm will provide power for 14,500 homes and up to five to 10 percent of the island’s power, while avoiding the burning of 300,000 barrels of oil annually.

But for surfers like North Shore resident Kevin Turner, the development is seen as offensive. Turner believes the 30 turbines that overlook parts of Haleiwa, Waialua, and Waimea Bay will become an eyesore to North Shore residents and visitors.

“I’m not anti-sustainable energy at all, I just think that with all of the cultural heritage of the valley, they could have put them somewhere else,” said Turner. “There’s a lot of cultural significance to the to the area and I’m not the only one who feels that way…these gigantic wind turbines must come down and be moved to viable locations that won’t affect Waimea, a truly priceless and culturally sensitive site.” Turner also believes that the spinning blades of the turbine could cause surfers at Waimea to become disoriented, making a potentially lethal wave even more dangerous.

The land, which was leased by Kamehameha Schools to Boston-based company First Wind, is only a piece of a larger project meant to rejuvenate the land once home to the Waialua Sugar Plantation.

According to Sean Moody, who calls Waialua home and has built a career as a professional surfer on the North Shore, the turbines may not appeal to everyone, but they’re crucial to Hawaii becoming energy independent.

The new turbines overlooking Waimea have been met with controversy by some North Shore residents. Photo: John Bain

“I’ll be up front and say that I’m by no means an expert on the Kawailoa wind farm, so I’m only speaking as a North Shore surfer and resident,” says Moody. “That being said, I can see how some people view the turbines as an eyesore. But I also understand Hawaii’s need to develop sustainable forms of energy. I also hope that when the project is completed, it’s done in a way that’s safe and as non intrusive to the environment as possible.”

Some critics of the development point to the checkered safety record of the smaller, nearby Kahuku wind farm. Since becoming fully operational 18 months ago, the wind farm has caught fire three times, believed to be the result of a faulty battery-storage system. During the most recent fire, which occurred on August 3, firefighters opted not to enter the building for seven hours after the start of the fire out of concerns over toxicity due to an estimated 12,000 burning batteries.

It should be noted that unlike the Kahuku wind farm, the Kawailoa development will not be using a battery storage system.

Mike Lyons, head of the North Shore Neighborhood Board, says that the wind turbines may not mesh with the area’s natural beauty, but they’re needed to power the growth of the North Shore.

“I understand the need of the turbines and agree that the North Shore needs the power,” says Lyons. “That being said, I was a little surprised to see the size of the turbines in person. But the North Shore is growing fast. We’re practically bursting at the seams and the big question is: ‘How do we blend development with growth, while still remaining rural?’”

The push for new wind farms and other forms energy developments is driven by a Hawaiian law mandating that 70 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy, with 40 percent provided locally by the year 2030.

  • Kevin

    Wind turbines are actually artistic looking, and can blend in any natural landscape. They are metaphoric of man understanding nature and working with it, not against it.

    Would you rather look at a row of condo buildings making a concrete jungle? No. That is an obvious trampling of nature. But a row of treehouses, sure…because they fit it instead of go against nature.

    and “surfers getting disoriented”…..who would ever believe that?

  • George

    Standard not-in-my-back-yard response, love the bit about surfers getting disoriented by the turbine blades.

    I personally think that wind turbines aren’t an eyesore on a landscape, particularly when you’re talking about a landscape that has already been developed with roads, hotels, housing and other buildings. I think they can be a symbol of a more civilized society and are certainly better than the main alternative – burning coal and oil which seems to be favoured by many because it happens somewhere else away from their house, which is a bit of a selfish point of view really.

  • Dave

    The issues here are a bit more complicated…

    I don’t think anyone minds the turbines for the sake of creating clean renewable energy. Even having the turbines up in the hills behind north shore isn’t too much of an issue. Artistic- to each his own…

    1. Why put the turbines straight up Waimea Valley? There is a lot of land back there and the turbines could have been moved away. For the sake of the area around the valley a little effort could have been made to stay away from the valley.

    2. Why was there no public process or input? Most people can’t pass gas on the north shore without having to file for a permit and public process. These wind-farms (Kauhuku’s included) went up overnight (in a building and development sense) with little to know public process. Do ‘green’ projects get the go-ahead because it’s environmentally friendly?

    3. The construction trucks do make getting across Kam highway easier sometimes. Traffic has to stop to let them in and it’s a good time to hustle the log across the road.

  • http://planet-rla.com Robert Lundahl

    Please see the project blurb for my documentary, “Who Are My People?” below. I am a surfer, an environmentalist, and film maker. I am also a friend to indian country, and native indigenous Hawai’i. Write me at robert@studio-rla.com for film copies or information. Welcome Hawaii to the green jobs, energy rip-off.
    Solar belongs on rooftops and wind energy is not ready from prime time with too many negative impacts to culture and the environment from blade based systems.

    Who Are My People?

    by Robert Lundahl

    Director Robert Lundahl recalls his early trips to the desert as a child. One such memory helps the audience to think of the desert the way he does, as a “oasis surrounded by a battlefield.”

    That is how “Who Are My People?” the latest release from RL | A and Freshwater Bay Pictures, LLC, sees it too.

    The controversy over the Obama Administration’s “green jobs” program, mired in the collapse of firms like Solyndra, which failed after being stuffed fat with cash grants and loan guarantees from the public coffers, rages on. And to the list of would be corporate raiders we now add Solar Millennium, the German Solar Giant, which met its match in a small group of Native American elders in the hottest desert on the planet.

    When the German firm Solar Millennium applied for a lease to build what then was called “the largest solar plant in the world,” it seemed like a pretty sweet deal: 30% cash government rebate up front, from the ARRA stimulus program meant for American workers, loan guarantees totaling another 4 or 5 billion, land leased at agricultural rates, or below, and the loving embrace of the Obama administration seeking to make good on a campaign promise. As the film points out neither the companies nor the agencies dug very deep, for if they had they might have recognized archeological sites worthy of World Heritage Site designation beneath their feet.

    That’s the contention of La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle founder Alfredo Figueroa. In this David vs. Goliath story, Figueroa mobilizes a small army of defenders, whose unlikely challenge to 15 billion dollars with of international investment, carries weight, contributing to the demise of Solar Millennium. Quechan/Kumeyaay elder Preston Arrow-weed weighs in with a solar plan of his own, one that relies on rooftop energy, not the big, industrial, remotely located plants La Cuna de Aztlan is fighting.

    Lundahl is a documentary film maker whose work, from the edgy “Paydirt” about homebuilding on former military munitions sites, to the epic “Unconquering the Last Frontier” on Elwha River Restoration, inhabits a world of its own making. That the audience is brought into a WORLD, that they would otherwise not see, much less be immersed in, is undeniable. In this case, anthropology, politics and mayhem take time off to hear a story from Arrow-weed on Ishi and Jesus.

    “Who Are My People?” never fails to entertain, while asking big questions about what we value and why, and getting its point across that Native American heritage is being treated like it’s “up for grabs.” The film features surprising new footage of exotic desert geo-glyphs. With Native American elders, Don Alfredo Figueroa (Yaqui/Chemehuevi), The Reverend Ron Van Fleet (Mohave Traditional Chief), Phil Smith (Chemehuevi), and Preston Arrow-Weed (Quechan/Kumeyaay)

    Ending Before the Beginning. Large Solar Bites the Dust in Blythe.

    In October 2010, I was working with CARE, Californians for Renewable Energy on a project to prevent the siting of Large Utility Scale solar facilities on lands which were considered sacred to Native Americans. Six months earlier I had travelled to Blythe, California to meet Alfredo Figueroa, a long time activist, living legend and Californio/indigenous historian. Alfredo had studied these lands for 50 years, tracing his Yaqui, Chemehuevi heritage.

    We traveled to the Genesis Project Press Tour at Ford Dry Lake in February of 2010. There we met project representatives and those of the Bureau of Land Management who discussed what would be done and how the plant would be built. Company representatives answered questions about water usage, energy production, native hiring and other topics.

    One recollection which stands out as meaningful is when company representatives became lost on the land using GPS coordinates. I reckoned their inexperience, or the “Fast Tracking” process approved by Secretary of the Interior Salazar was at fault. The latter would come into the light of truth as industry insiders validated in an interview in December 2010 that the project leases had been “let” from the BLM without specific vetting, then obtained by speculators including Goldman Sachs, then developed quickly as “shovel ready” with the approval of an administration interested in creating “Green Jobs” despite their impacts to the environment and to people.

  • Noone

    Why not put up solar farms instead of wind famrs? Alot less intrusive!!!

  • matt

    seems like anyone sitting in the lineup at Waimea would be looking OUT to sea, not up the valley, where the “disorienting” windmills are located…

  • Leilani

    Mr. Turner is 100% correct. Wind turbines abusing Waimea Valley is absolutely WRONG and very disrespectful to Hawaiian heritage! I get sick to my stomach every time I drive by them. Kamehameha Schools—how could even think of allowing this?

  • surf4life

    I agree with the green initiative and the wind farms but I feel the exact location is an insult to the history and cultural significance of Waimea valley. An install location of a mile away could have prevented these issues. According to the windfarm website ” The Project is a part of Kamehameha Schools’ North Shore Plan and was developed with extensive input from the local community”.

    When did the “extensive input” occur? I heard nothing about it on the news or city meetings….Of course its KS land and I would imagine they have the final say anyways.

    With change comes controversy, but I’m still glad to see Hawaii working towards an oil-free future.

  • pringled

    kamehameha schools also lease out land to MONSANTO… yea what a great organization…

  • Robert

    Environmentalist want to get off the grid and now here’s an option to do that yet they still don’t want it. We all use electricity.

  • Justin

    Bottom line is that Hawai’i is the most oil dependent state in the United States, when it should be the most oil independent. The time has come to abandon the NIMBY stance. There is a price to pay for creating sustainability eyesore or not, projects such as these are needed. It blows my mind that people complain about wind farms but for 50+ years have said nothing about Dole, Del Monte, or Maui Land and Pineapple about the millions of gallons of pesticides that have essentially poisoned O’ahu’s and Outer island water tables.

    The reality is that large parcels of land throughout the state will be needed to attain the the level of sustainability that Hawai’i needs. I completely agree that culturally important areas need to be protected, so selective placement is key.

    I think opponents of these projects have every right to oppose, but they also should cut the power to their house and stop driving their car to offset the reduction in oil usage that these projects could create.

  • rando

    Problem is everybody loves them when they’re not in their own back yard.

  • Kevin Turner

    Aloha All, thanks for your comments. To further clarify my stance, it is not about being anti sustainable energy or having a “not in my backyard” mentality… They are all over our backyards. It’s about not allowing for the 9 wind turbines placed at Waimea Valley, Bay and Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau view corridors which is an extremely cultural and historically sensitive site. 10′s of thousands of ancient Hawaiians lived in Waimea Valley at one time and maintaining it, as close to what it was like, for future generations to appreciate should be the goal of all conservationists.

    Could you imagine the outrage if this happened at Yosemite Valley? There are suppose to be laws and groups (NEPA) in place to govern this sort of non sense so this does not happen.

    These 9 turbines must be moved to viable locations.

    “Common sense is not so common” Voltaire; Let us all strive to have the right thing done here and anywhere else of similar circumstances.

    Aloha nui loa, Kevin Turner

  • Hoku

    7 million visitors visit Oahu annually, plus the 1 million plus residents and military. There is no way these windmills will make a dent in our energy usage,(actually your electric bill will go up about 15%). And definitely not at the expense of our culture. You mean to tell me the only places to put windmills on Oahu is next to a wildlife refuge and a sacred cultural site. Endangered native birds, owls, and bats are being killed by these giant blades. Toxic Fires, Toxic Fumes. After the fire at the Kahuku Windmill Farm, that burned for over two days and yet not a single apology or statement from First Wind. LAME!. They dont give a rip about the NS community. All they care about is $$$
    The developers want to turn the North Shore into the next Hawaii Kai. They are using “sustainability” as a Trojan Horse for re-zoning and mass development of the North Shore. Outsiders want what we have and are willing to lie, cheat, and steal for it. The face of our beloved North Shore is changing forever. Dont let them! Kekoa Kaluhiwa is the representative for First Wind. His email is kkaluhiwa@firstwind.com. Voice your concerns! Tell them how lame their project really is!
    Also here is a link to educate your self on current Wind Farm disasters world wide:
    http://www.windaction.org/news

  • Whamo

    I used to live right around the block from Waimea, at Shark’s Cove, and I hate to see the wind towers at Waimea. It ruins the mana of the spot. But it’s good that Hawaii is going to green energy. Something is lost, but something is gained.

  • lostcoastloser

    wind farms=waste of money, constant maintenance needed and if the wind isn’t blowin there not making electricity, even if they are produci[ng if there is no need for the electricity made right then its wasted, there is no way to store that amount of power. The local utility,power company will use its own electricity being produced before it buys the electricity from the wind farm, then if they don’t use a certain amount of the “green” energy the goverment fines the power company, thank u obama, that leads to the local utility to hike its rates up to pay for the fines.tear em down

  • Matthew

    It may be a question of a lesser of two evils. Windmills are nice placeholders for land which could otherwise be converted to huge subdivisions. Knowing the real estate boom, one might expect major development (on par with Kapolei and Ewa – tens of thousands of housing units) on the North Shore (Mokuleia to Laie) within the next 30 years – if it is not already happening.

  • Jeff

    Yes not the greatest placement and yes could have been placed out of sight of the valley. But very needed the thing is the Monopoly Public utility that is HECO will just keep raising the price of power they are a publicly traded co so making money is there only goal. When is Surfer Mag going to write a negative story about Turtle bay now that they are in bed with them. Why haven we seen the story about Turtle Bay spilling 25.000 gallons of raw sewage this summer into Kawela Bay. Or the story of all the surf industry Houses on Ke Nui Rd Surf Mag house Volcome BBong all have remolded old houses and not upgrading the cesspools to septic tanks. They over load the house which are zones for a sigle family 5-8 people and are now sleeping 20 plus during the contest 50 people wich over loads the cesspools which causes them to leach out faster and the smell of shit during the rain can be smelled out in the line ups. Got off your high horse if you didn’t sell NS has the place to be for the last 50 years and make money off it maybe the place wouldn’t be so crowed and the power grid wouldn’t need wind turbines to survive.

  • KELPERS

    This is complete BULLS#@T!

    How Kam Schools could even think about allowing some of these monstrosities at Waimea Valley speaks to the greed and corruption of this lame project.

    !!! FULL FRICKING TRAVESTY !!!

    !!! ECOTERRORISM BY GREEDY CORPORATE A*#HOLES !!!

    MOVE ‘EM NOW

  • the quez

    They built a fossil fuel or nuke plant, you’ll still put up a fit. They build condos, everyone’s up in arms. Eventually, energy prices go up, and there are riots. You can’t win with some of these folks. Take the wind turbines for what they’re worth. It’s a step in the right direction towards island sustainability and independence. It’s an island for god’s sake, asking to “put it somewhere else” just doesn’t work.

  • KELPERS

    @ the quez, a couple of things, 1. This is about saving Waimea Valley not anti sustainable energy. The majority of the existing wind turbines are not the question. 2. There are plenty of much more viable locations for wind turbines including the 80% of Oahu that is owned by the US Government. Guess they are to busy blowing up shit and playing war games to mess with a viable wind farm location for the good of all.

  • Topo

    Some perspective… our Ali’i were leaders and had immense wisdom. They were also early adopters of technology (e.g. Iolani Palace electricity, canons, etc…). If our Ali’i were still around I would have to think they would have wind turbines and PV panels all over the place along with acres and acres of productive ag fields instead of subdivisions. Assuming the turbines are next to Waimea because that is where the wind is at, think columbia river gorge, our Ali’i would have proudly placed them there. In this modern ahupua’a, not only would there be alt energy, but lo’i kalo, ‘uala, ulu, mai’a, and countless other traditional and non-native crops.

    Lets face it, today I go into Waimea and there is a visitor center, tons of non-native plants, paved road through the valley with golf carts, tourists walking around and a falls with a lifeguard where you cannot jump off of like when we were young. Don’t think these turbines have any more negative impact than what is currently going on there. I would rather see a functioning ahupua’a with locals growing local food. but I get that they need to raise money to take care of the place. The staff there is passionate and made up of some of the best people. The NS has tons of other sites which also go without much attention… Anahulu is an incredible cultural asset that was very productive, ‘U’koa, Lokoea, and countless other areas… Lets return them to functioning systems again with community involvement and active farming. This coupled with wind turbines and pv panels and active farming, Imagine what this modern Hawaiian landscape would look like? I would have to believe our Ali’i would be proud if we could accomplish this.

    bottom line, the future is going to have to look a lot different if we are going to survive on this rock (both O’ahu and Earth). Plenty of problems all over the world and in our communities… I see these turbines as part of the solution and not a problem. In Kahuku they are right in front of everyone. At least this site is fairly nestled up the ridges. lets focus our energies on real problems… just my thoughts…

  • http://Yourchickenshitandwillnotpostthis jeff

    Yes not the greatest placement and yes could have been placed out of sight of the valley. But very needed the thing is the Monopoly Public utility that is HECO will just keep raising the price of power they are a publicly traded co so making money is there only goal. When is Surfer Mag going to write a negative story about Turtle bay now that they are in bed with them. Why haven we seen the story about Turtle Bay spilling 25.000 gallons of raw sewage this summer into Kawela Bay. Or the story of all the surf industry Houses on Ke Nui Rd Surf Mag house Volcome BBong all have remolded old houses and not upgrading the cesspools to septic tanks. They over load the house which are zones for a sigle family 5-8 people and are now sleeping 20 plus during the contest 50 people wich over loads the cesspools which causes them to leach out faster and the smell of shit during the rain can be smelled out in the line ups. Got off your high horse if you didn’t sell NS has the place to be for the last 50 years and make money off it maybe the place wouldn’t be so crowed and the power grid wouldn’t need wind turbines to survive

  • John

    I believe without Federal Money (ie, your tax dollar) wind energy would not be a money maker. Check out the info online about how your tax dollar is being used. Maybe it is good, or maybe it will be a bust like Solar Panels. Just because it is green doesn’t make it a good business. They ARE ugly and gross, and don’t make Financial Sense. How nice it would be to have a business that is underwritten by the the taxpayers if you own that business. The way the government runs business is a scary thought and know they run one up in the Waimea Valley. Kahuku wind farm it not running, why not?? All those windmills are not moving. Why not??? Oh yes, they had a fire and don’t understand why so they stopped it for now. lol

  • Mike

    Just an unfortunate byproduct of the new fraud called the “green industry.” None of these alternatives are even remotely close to replacing fossil fuels, so what’s the point? Now we have a massive eyesore in a beautiful culturally sensitive area only providing TEN PERCENT of needed power that will probably catch fire at some point. Until the US is ready to decimate what’s left of its economy (and world empire) by killing the petro-dollar, these silly, grandiose gestures will remain only symbolic in nature while government continues to be a servant to the oil industry while lining the pockets of green friends in high places.

  • Kelpers

    So Topo, what is your connection to Kam Schools?

  • Hoku

    @ Topo

    Wake up!! Here is some perspective for you… Our beloved Ali’i and kahuna are buried in the caves of Waimea Valley. The damn windmills are built right on top of them. To this day, First Wind still has not done a complete Environmental Impact Statement for project above Waimea. This project also kills native wildlife, birds, owls, bats, etc. Windmills kill our aumakua (family guardians). Even one aumakua is too many! Topo, First Wind, and Kamehameha Schools should know better. Maybe Japan will let them build windmills on Mt. Fuji, or maybe in Yosemite…not!

    I think everyone should visit Waimea Valley and see things for themselves. Like Yosemite, this ahupua’a is a National Treasure.The Waimea Valley staff are caretakers and guardians of the Valley. And just like in ancient times, modern day Kahuna still reside in the Valley. They are experts in Horticulture, Hawaiian Culture, Education, Conservation, and Service Learning. They facilitate nearly 100 school programs and work with practically every single treatment facility on the island every year. Waimea is a place of education and healing. Also Waimea Valley has one of the most extensive Native Hawaiian Plant collections in the entire world.

    Malama Pono

  • Topo

    kelpers- no relations. hoku – thanks for the perspective. if the turbines are impacting burials then the offending ones should be relocated. agree. we expect the same form our rail project. from the road and picture they seemed more setback. hard to tell. mahalo.

  • kelpers

    Ok Topo, fair enough.

    I must add though that your “nestled’ comment sounded really agenda laden and comparing these 9 massive wind turbines to an asphalt road and single story pavilion, for paying customers supporting the park, for shade, sustenance and rest is like comparing my slippahs carbon foot print when I walk to Foodland compared to someone firing up a big 4×4 truck to cover the same distance.

    Please come out for a look. You will find it shocking if you come open minded that they placed the turbines on the ridge tops of beautiful and historic Waimea Valley.

    They have to be moved. Pay the crews and get it done and fix your poor planning. Thats the price you have to pay. I’m sure the crews will appreciate the extra work.

    Aloha

  • Unhappy Camper

    With all the thousands of acres of land up above Haleiwa and Wahiawa, why they had to stick those windmills RIGHT above Waimea Valley I have no idea. If they just moved those 5 windmills in about 1/2 mile (with the amount of land up there should have not been a problem), we would not have seen them and there would be no problem! They either didnt plan correctly, didnt consider how tall the windmills are, or have no respect or appreciation of the north shore landscape. They really should consider moving those windmills above the valley, they are such an eyesore!!!

  • Hoku

    Mahalo Nui to Kevin Turner for the Yosemite analogy. I think everyone can agree, there are some places on this Earth that we all need to respect and protect.

  • Kever

    To give perspective, people pay lots of money to stay at places with ocean views, and secondly mountain views or a nice garden. But who would ever pay for views of rows of 100′ windmills with blinking red lights all night long?! It’s an eyesore that could have easily been avoided with strategic placement, proper planning /design and proper community discourse at Waimea. Why put them where people paint and take pictures of, on a hourly basis?! This view is precious, as well as of deep cultural / historical importance. Our community relies a lot on tourism enjoying our natural beauty and amazing weather. We’ve lost sight of the variables of what makes the North Shore special, and got tricked by big business, special interest groups and short-sighted politicians. And yes, I’ve been living here a long time, and world traveler as well.

  • Irritated

    Spinning blades on the wind turbines might disorient surfers??? Are you serious? What happens if a bird flies by right as you’re catching a wave? Should we tell all the birds to fly somewhere else? Kevin Turner, you should leave the adult conversations to the adults. Go back to posting “gnarly” comments on your MySpace page and be grateful that the rest of us actually work for a living and pay taxes so that you can enjoy all the great waves at Waimea in the first place. More importantly, try change your perspective… Design is the first signal of human intention (Bill McDonough) These wind turbines are our intent to harness natural energy flows… The same as a fisherman uses a fishing line or a net to catch fish… The same way you use a surfboard to ride a wave. The wind turbine works with nature (and the natural energy flows on the island) in a symphony. It takes time to get it right. So, there are bound to be challenges, fires, etc. But, it’s the right direction in the long run. Was the first surfboard perfect? Did it take time to perfect? Is it perfect now? Try thinking beyond the small world that exists between your ears before saying really stupid things like the blades my disorient surfers.

  • http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/607657 Matt

    The leading voice of and advocate for the environment and climate change, Bill McKibbon — who puts action (see 350.org) behind his words — has written about these kinds of conflicts:

    “Opponents of renewable energy projects point out (correctly) that they have impacts – there are (overstated) risks to birds from wind turbines, to fish from run-of-river hydro, that the projects mean ‘development’ somewhere there was none and transmission lines where there were none before.

    They point out (again correctly) that the developers are private interests, rushing to develop a resource that, in fact, they do not own, and without waiting for the government to come up with a set of rules and processes for siting such installations.

    The critics also insist that there’s a ‘better’ site somewhere – and again they’re probably right. There’s almost always a better site for anything. The whole business is messy, imperfect.

    If we had decades to burn, then perhaps the opponents would be right that there’s a better site, and a nicer developer. There’s always a better site and a nicer developer. But in the real world, we have at most 10 years to reverse the fossil fuel economy. Which means we have to do everything quickly – conservation and plug-in cars and solar panels and compact fluorescents and 100-mile food and tree planting. And windmills, windmills everywhere there is wind, just like off the shores of Europe.

    Whatever natural endowments a region is blessed to have, these are the basis for your green economy: solar in the deserts, wind where it’s windy, hydro where water’s falling, geothermal if you’ve got it. Do it all, and do it quickly.”

  • Kevin Turner

    Aloha Matt, thanks for your insightful comment. I like it. That said, it would have been really, really easy to set these turbines back a mile or so and the controversy at beautiful, culturally sensitive, historic and wildlife refuge at Waimea would have been a no factor.

    Let’s create some more “green jobs” and get them moved to a suitable location.

    Kever, obviously you are taking the “if you don’t like the message, attack the messenger” route.

    Check with your local physicist. I have and spinning blades can effect your equilibrium.

    Malama Ka Aina!

  • Protect North Shore

    “Proponents to the development argue that the farm will provide power for 14,500 homes and up to five to 10 percent of the island’s power, while avoiding the burning of 300,000 barrels of oil annually.”

    WHAT A JOKE!! DONT BELIEVE BIG WIND PROPAGANDA!

    RIMPAC 2012 Military Training (Fake War Games) in Hawai’i consists of 40 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft. They burn more than 300,000 barrels of fuel in just one day of RIMPAC in Hawai’i. It last for 5 days.

    CONSERVATION AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IS THE ANSWER, NOT BIG WIND ON THE NORTH SHORE!

    FIRST WIND GO BACK TO BOSTON!!
    .

  • Guy

    Kam schools leased all the land surrounding the wind farm to Monsanto back in the 90′s. This company has been growing mass amounts of pesticide driven genetically modified crops all over the North Shore for years! I would be a lot more concerned about the ground water pollution, soil degredation, run-off, and the health problems related to Monsanto’s farms. Hm, let’s see, clean energy in waimea valley, or pesticide run-off in to waimea bay where every surfs and swims? I choose clean energy.

  • KELPERS

    Guy, good point but I choose NEITHER!

    More great examples of greedy, soulless corporate corruption with complete disregard to Mother Earth and her people.

  • George

    Ruins the view on the North Shore…I was stunned and beyond pissed first time I saw it..I can’t comprehend how anyone can approve of it…view of the wind turbines from the water is even worse…

  • Wade Dunbkin

    What a shame. I hope they were forced to put money in a trust that will pay for the remonel of them when it all gose south. :(

  • Logan

    .Lets all look at the FACTS!
    Hawaiian Electric doesn’t give a dam about (Going Green) it’s all about making money through feigned facts about Wind Farms?
    That We Pay For! AND Our State gets the Tax Credit! AND our Electric Bill Keeps Rising! NO Resident has made or saved A DOLLAR off these Wind Site projects..
    Our residential electric bill are at record high. We customers pay for these 360 something million dollars for that Kawailoa wind farm and ?? for Kahuku wind sites..
    Kahuku Wind is comprised of 12 wind turbines, with a total generating capacity of 30 MW. This project should produce enough power for up to 7,700 homes on Oahu?? But since the last big fire in 2012, this site has produced NOTHING till today. Awe! YET the electric bills keep rising! The cost to fix this is 8 Million? : (
    As for Kawailoa?
    IN Mar 21, 2012 – After receiving $236 million in financing, First Wind was allowed to move on their project by Hawaii’s State Gov. Officials … The 69-megawatt wind farm will be located on Kamehameha Schools land in upper Kawailoa … OUR state’s residents routinely pay the highest electricity prices in the United States & will continue to do so for decades to come..
    Kawailoa Wind Farm. IS a big sore eye & was really a waste of our residents electric bill monies..
    The Paper trail of your Elec/bill money first goes to Hawaiian Electric and from Hawaiian Electric to First wind and a portion to those institutions that financed both these projects..
    Theres a small % of your bills money that goes back to those Hawaiian Electric’s board members pockets, and to those (lol) certain politicians pockets who initiated-N-backed both these First Wind Turbin projects..
    What our State is selling we residents is all B S. to confuse you aboutElectric energy savings!
    You want to save money GO OFF THE GRID & make/do your own wise investments in the near future with YOUR OWN Solar & Wind Residential systems…

  • Chris B

    I find the wind mills far less offensive than surfers driving f350′s or 3500′s jacked to the sky with huge tires burning more fuel than is even remotely needed just to drive a penis extension. Or the thought that without them we burn more oil and of course the potential oil spills from the transportation of said oil not to mention the inference that burning more oil you support oil drilling and all that entails.

    For the person throwing in the red hearing argument saying the military burns more fuel, that is a straw man argument. While the military should be 1/3 as large and stop ALL mid frequency sonar testing in Hawaii’s waters, it doesn’t negate the savings wind turbines provide.

    The only effect these turbines have on surfers is the few that don’t like it will take that anger out with them. No different than any other thing they might be angry with (traffic, haoles, or the development of the north shore).

    I’ve seen a massive change in the NS since I was a kid, and while I don’t like most of it, I understand it will happen as long as people have more than 1-2 kids, and we are ALL transplants to Hawaii and have effected it’s ecology from the time the first Tahitians set foot on it’s shores 1500 or so years ago.

    We all have to make choices, from what kind of car we drive, food we eat, how much energy we use and where we get that energy from. in the end, the reality is that wind generation is good for Hawaii.

  • Kelly Turner

    Hi guys, this is about the placement of 9 wind turbines on the ridge tops of Waimea Valley. So wrong in so many ways. Please move them to a better location and give us our valley and respect to the Hawaiian culture and sanctuary back.

    Aloha, Kelly Turner

  • Maria

    I volunteer regularly in Waimea valley, and I can attest first hand to just how much of a negative impact these windmills have had on the environment there.
    Just yesterday, June 26th, a hoary bat was found dead in the parking lot. It’s not the first to have been directly killed by these windmills, and it’s definitely not going to be the last. The windmills create negative pressure zones that damage the bats’ lungs and kill them when they fly to close. These endemic bats are already endangered, their numbers can’t afford to be getting further decimated by careless, money-grubbing companies.
    The windmills also cast large shadows in the valley which could very likely have long term effects on the plants they’re shading for hours each day.
    And, they make a bizarre noise like the sound of an approaching airplane, and it’s distinctly audible from many points throughout the botanical garden.
    On top of all that, each windmill has a continuously blinking red light on it. Not only is it obnoxious to residents on top of Pupukea, but it’s also dangerous for nocturnal animals like pueo and bats.

    Hawai’i definitely needs to become more independent from imported energy, and especially fossil fuels. But this is not the way to do it. Allowing a wind farm like this to be set up before EPA tests are completed and without a consultation with the locals about just how much of an impact it will have on them and their environment, only shows other investors that they can get away with this kind of thing. It shows corporations that we won’t fight back to protect what we have, and that they can walk all over our delicate ecosystem just to grab some government funds while they can.
    As soon as the government funding on these windmills runs out, chances are they will be abandoned and left to continue to be an eyesore. But then they’ll be an eyesore that doesn’t even provide the negligible amount of power they’re providing now.

  • cleanSooke

    Grew up on Oahu, and love the look of the mills. I guess it’s all how you look at it. Are they any more ugly than the massive homes that dot the shoreline now? I look at them as freedom, even if it is only in 5-10% increments. How ugly is the South shore going to look if one of the many tankers have an accident? Until everyone goes back to candles, and start walking or riding horses on the NS, this is the reality. Instead of fight it, support it and make sure it’s being done right.

    Is the carbon blades and steal towers harnessing the wind any different than us on our plastic surfboards harnessing the waves that are created by the wind? There’s not many options for the oil we burn, wind, solar, hydro and wave. Each one has it’s drawbacks. Solar takes space, trees have to be cut and land has to be covered. Hydro, rivers are damned effecting fish, sand bars, and erosion. Wave, has potential but the cost as well as the possible damage to the marine environment is there.

    As for growth, it’s simple…have less kids, enact tax laws that penalize absentee owners. How many homes on the NS are lived in by the owners?

  • Taylor

    I am all for wind energy but put them far enough from land that they can not be seen by the naked eye. There are few wild places left. Why blight them with roads and windmills.