Oahu wind farm back online with new technology

Image Courtesy: Jay Armstrong
Image Courtesy: Jay Armstrong

KAHUKU, Hawaii (AP) - An Oahu North Shore wind farm is again operating at full capacity more than a year after a fire knocked out its storage batteries.

First Wind said Thursday its 12-turbine Kahuku Wind project can generate up to 30 megawatts at full capacity. That's enough to power nearly 8,000 homes.

A fire destroyed a building housing Kahuku Wind's batteries in August 2012. The batteries allowed Kahuku Wind to supply power to Hawaiian Electric even when wind levels dropped.

Instead of batteries, Kahuku Wind now uses new technology that allows continuous voltage regulation. The company says this technology improves the grid's voltage stability.

Kahuku Wind began testing the turbines and the new technology in September. Hawaiian Electric last month gave the wind farm the go ahead for a full return to service.

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