East Hawaii News

Lālāmilo Wind Farm to Save $1M Yearly

September 30, 2015, 3:56 PM HST
* Updated September 30, 4:09 PM
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With the State’s Clean Energy Initiative’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy in mind, the County of Hawai’i and the Department of Water Supply held a groundbreaking event for the construction of a wind farm in South Kohala Wednesday.

The wind farm will be constructed in South Kohala and consist of five wind turbines that will produce a total of 3.3 megawatts of power.

Fifty temporary jobs are expected to be created by the construction of the facility and three permanent positions will be available once the wind farm is operational.

Once completed, the area will be provided with a less expensive renewable energy source for wells in the area, which produce 5.1 million gallons of water every day to residential, resort, park, industrial, and commercial areas from the Mauna Lani Resort area to Kawaihae.

As part of renewable energy goals and efficiency, controls will be installed at the wind farm to sync operations of the wind generated energy production.

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A Power Purchase Agreement between DWS and Lālāmilo Wind Company LLC, the company that was awarded the project, includes a contract energy amount of 7,620 megawatt hours per year to be supplied to DWS.

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Currently, 11,000 MWh/year are needed by DWS., which is an annual cost of $4.1 million.

The Lālāmilo Wind farm is expected to save $1 million in energy costs every year for the next 20 years.

Officials estimate that construction will be completed in about one year, and commercial operations are expected to begin late in 2016.

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