Hawaii celebrates largest wind farm in its history

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Oahu has completed Hawaii's largest wind energy project to date.

The 69 MW Kawailoa wind project from First Wind consists of 30 state-of-the-art Siemens turbines. The farm is commercially operating and will generate enough clean and cost-competitive wind energy to meet as much as 5 to 10 percent of Oahu's annual electrical demand and avoid the burning of about 300,000 barrels of oil each year.

The wind project also reflects community collaboration. The plan was completed in 2008 after two years of community consultations, as well as work with federal, state, and county agencies to obtain the necessary permits.

In 2011, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a power purchase agreement between First Wind and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO).

Wind power is an important clean energy resource for Hawaii and one of the keys to breaking its dependence on imported oil. Hawaii state law mandates 70 percent clean energy for electricity and surface transportation by 2030, with 40 percent from local renewable sources.

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