Construction of new wind energy plant on Maui complete

ULUPALAKUA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Construction on the new 21-megawatt Auwahi Wind facility on Maui has been completed, according to a statement released by Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy on Thursday.

The power project includes the development of eight new wind turbines on the southeast ridge of Maui's Haleakala volcano.

"We are very pleased to complete construction of Auwahi Wind both on time and on budget," said Jeffrey W. Martin, president and CEO of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. "The addition of new, clean energy from our project will be a boost for Maui's infrastructure and will help Hawaii achieve its goal of securing 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030."

Power from the new facility will be sold to the Maui Electric Company under a 20-year contract, and the companies say the turbines will generate enough clean electricity to power about 10,000 typical Maui homes.

"Innovation is a big part of what Sempra U.S. Gas & Power brings to all of our projects," Martin said.  "The battery storage component of Auwahi Wind includes state-of-the-art monitoring and safety controls which will help maximize the benefit that the Maui ElectricCompany and its customers receive from this project."

Construction of the wind farm on Ulupalakua Ranch began in March 2012, and involved more than 180 workers.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.