MAALAEA - First Wind on Friday began transporting large wind turbine components from the Maui Research and Technology Park in Kihei to Kaheawa Wind II, a wind farm located above Maalaea Harbor.
Transport requires the use of oversized trailers.
Slated between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., deliveries are expected to continue through mid-March. No extended road closures are anticipated.
Going in makai of the Kaheawa Wind Power project built in 2006, Kaheawa Wind Power II will consist of 14 wind turbines. The blades are the longest components at 112 feet and weighing 14,000 pounds. There are three pieces to the tower section; the longest is the top section at 98 feet and weighing 80,000 pounds. The 29-foot-long nacelles (where the generators are housed at the top of the turbines) are the heaviest components at 126,000 pounds. File photo by Louise Rockett.
Actual transport dates will vary depending on favorable weather conditions for turbine installation, but deliveries are expected to take place four to five days per week.
Transport operations are being handled by Maui's Tri-Isle Inc. and conducted in conjunction with the state Department of Transportation and Maui County officials.
"We are pleased to begin installing these wind turbines to be able to deliver more clean, renewable energy for Maui residents," said Kekoa Kaluhiwa, director of external affairs for First Wind, an independent U.S.-based wind energy company.
"While we hope to keep traffic disruptions to a minimum, we thank the Kihei and West Maui communities for their understanding and patience during the process."
Each delivery will have a police escort. Drivers are asked to use caution when encountering the oversized trailers.
The transport route begins at the Kihei Tech Park, proceeding west on Piilani Highway and continuing west on North Kihei Road to Honoapiilani Highway to the project site.
Total transport time for each component is expected to be about 20 minutes.
Questions regarding the delivery route and schedule should be directed to Leo Arsenberg of Tri-Isle Inc. at 244-1800.
Kaheawa Wind Power II will consist of 14 wind turbines, capable of generating 21 MW of energy - enough to power about 7,700 Maui homes on an annual basis.
The project will be built makai of the existing 30 MW Kaheawa Wind Power project built in 2006, which continues to provide enough energy to power about 11,000 Maui homes annually.
For more information on the Kaheawa Wind project, go to www.firstwind.com/kaheawa.
First Wind is an independent wind energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale wind projects in the United States.
Based in Boston, First Wind has wind projects in the Northeast, the West and in Hawaii with the capacity to generate up to 735 megawatts of power, as well as projects under construction with the capacity to generate up to an additional 210 megawatts.
First Wind has a partnership in Hawaii with Makani Nui Associates, a Hawaii-based company. The partnership developed, constructed, financed, owns and operates Kaheawa Wind Power. Makani Nui is also a partner in the Kaheawa Wind II project.