New wind energy project takes root in Hawaii

May 23, 2012 0 By Tami Hood

Wind Energy

Two energy companies team to bring wind energy to the state

Sempra US Gas & Power, an alternative energy company specializing in wind and natural gas, and BP Wind Energy, an alternative energy branch of British Petroleum, have announced their collaboration on a new wind energy project that will take root in Hawaii. The U.S. has taken a keen interest in wind energy recently, looking to back new projects that could smooth the transition away from fossil-fuels. Both companies believe that the new wind energy project will be a welcome addition to the country’s alternative energy plans.

Maui to serve as home to ambitious project

The project will take root in Southeastern Maui. Eight wind turbines will be utilized in the project, purchased from the Maui Electric Company. The wind farm will cover 120 acres and generate 21 megwatts of electricity, enough to power 10,000 homes in Maui. Though the project has been praised for its ambitious scope, it has also been subject to criticism from environmentalists who have raised concerns regarding the environmental impact of the wind farm’s construction. Both Sempra and BP Wind Energy note that the project will not have significant adverse effects on the local ecology.

Wind farm expected to placate some of the economic troubles Hawaii experiences due to remoteness

Because Hawaii is so far removed from the rest of the U.S., energy prices are typically higher in the state than in the mainland. This is due to the fact that fuel must be transported to the island – a costly endeavor when insurance is factored in. The wind energy project is expected to provide some stability to these energy prices by giving the state a way to generate its own electricity. The benefits of the project are expected to be acute in Maui. This particular project is expected to bring a significant number of sustainable jobs to the state, which may help embolden the local economy.

State making promising progress in meeting its energy goals

Hawaii is currently on track to meeting its alternative energy goals by 2030. This plan has the state generating no less than 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by that time. The state has invested in hydrogen fuel cells, solar and wind energy in order to meet this goal.