Planned wind turbines above Makakilo get blowback from residents

Image: Hawaii News Now/File
Image: Hawaii News Now/File
Updated: Apr. 25, 2018 at 11:17 PM HST
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KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A proposal to build a wind farm in the hills above Makakilo is running into opposition from area residents.

"I know this is going to be a tough sell,' said Dean Masuno, a consultant with Eurus Energy. The company has started the planning process to build Renew Palehua, with up to 16 wind turbines near Camp Palehua, on land owned by Gill Ewa Lands and two other landowners.

Masuno said the project could generate enough energy to power approximately 27,000 homes.

There are concerns about their visibility, but Eurus Energy told the Kapolei Neighborhood Board that it would not build wind turbines on the ridge line itself, but below it.

"There are some people who are passionately against it," said Masuno. "But we have talked to some people who say, 'you know what, I don't like what it looks like. I don't want to look at those things, but we've got to do something.'"

Board and community members were also concerned about the effect of the turbines on wildlife. Similar concerns have stalled a wind turbine project in Kahuku.

The proposal didn't sit well with most of those at the neighborhood board meeting.

"Enough is enough for this community" said Maeda Timson. "These wind turbines will affect the mauka views in the surrounding neighborhoods of Kapolei, Ko Olina, Honokai, Nanakai, Nanakuli, and likely beyond, for generations to come."

"My attitude is let's stop this right from the start," said Mike Freitas, another area resident. "Let's not waste anybody's time. Put it someplace else. Enough in my back yard."

Neighborhood board members voted against the project, but it won't be enough to stop it. Masuno said Renew Palehua is still in the preliminary stages, and it will still be another three to five years before it could even be approved.

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