First Wind’s Kahuku Wind Farm still not back up to speed

December 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Duane Shimogawa
Reporter- Pacific Business News

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First Wind’s 30-megawatt Kahuku Wind Farm on Oahu’s North Shore, which has been hampered by a fire that destroyed its battery warehouse last year, is still only running at a capacity of 5 megawatts, a spokesman for the Boston-based renewable energy company told PBN.

Originally, First Wind said it would be back at full capacity by the end of 2013.

“We had hoped that would be the case,” said John Lamontagne, spokesman for First Wind. “We hope that it can be back at 100 percent [capacity] in January.”

Hawaiian Electric Co., which has a 20-year power purchase agreement with First Wind for its Kahuku Wind project, told PBN in an email that it is working with the company to get the wind farm back to full capacity as soon as possible, while ensuring safe and reliable service for our customers.

“We hope to complete this process quickly so our customers may receive the benefits of having more wind energy on the electric system,” said spokesman Darren Pai.

In November 2012, HECO said that its interconnection facility inside the battery energy storage system warehouse would cost at least $8 million to rebuild and take about a year to complete.

The 15-megawatt system, which helps stabilize the wind energy output for the grid, houses both HECO’s interconnection facility and the wind farm’s control rooms.

The Kahuku Wind farm is First Wind’s second project in Hawaii and is made up of 12 state-of-the-art 2.5-megawatt wind turbines. Together, they produce enough power for as many as to 7,700 homes on Oahu.

Duane Shimogawa covers energy, real estate and economic development for Pacific Business News.

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