WIND | In Operation
|Homes Powered:||About 14,500 (HI)|
|Customer:||Maui Electric Company|
Auwahi Wind, located on the wind-rich Ulupalakua Ranch on the southeast coast of Maui, Hawaii, is a joint venture of Sempra Renewables and BP Wind Energy. The 21-megawatt (MW) wind farm was completed in December 2012, bringing Hawaii closer to its goal of increasing its use of renewable energy. Auwahi Wind’s eight turbines generate enough electricity to power approximately 14,500 typical Hawaii homes. The project created about 180 construction jobs at peak and seven full-time positions.
An important component of the project is an 11-MW grid battery system. Energy from the battery system helps to regulate and sustain power to Maui Electric Company’s grid during variable wind conditions. The battery storage component of this project includes state-of-the-art monitoring and safety controls that ensure reliable operation for the life of the project. The wind power from Auwahi Wind has been sold to Maui Electric Company under a 20-year contract.
Commitment to Community
The Auwahi Wind project has enabled Ulupalakua Ranch to continue ranching operations. A farm lease agreement between Sempra Renewables and Ulupalakua Ranch provides the ranch’s owners with the opportunity to thrive as cattle farmers and to maintain the rural character of thousands of acres of open space.
Sempra Renewables helped to implement infrastructure improvements for native Hawaiians living in Kahikinui, a remote community neighboring the Auwahi Wind project. For decades, these residents have lived “off the grid,” relying on the government and private sectors for assistance with modern infrastructure. Renewables funded and managed a major road improvement project that enables residents to traverse more easily through mountainous terrain.
Auwahi Wind’s environmental team is dedicated to perpetuating Maui’s natural and cultural legacy. These efforts include restoring over 133 acres of native Hawaiian forest at the Pu‘u Makua mitigation site on Ulupalakua Ranch; protecting native plant and animal species; and, sharing knowledge gained with Hawaii’s youth, businessleaders and community organizations.
Auwahi Wind continues to give back to the local community through sponsorship of events and support of local nonprofits. Employees actively participate in local business organizations and volunteer for a number of causes that enrich the quality of life for Maui’s citizens.
Maui Economic Development Board received funding through a grant from Sempra Renewables for the development of a new education app aimed at teaching science and math students about wind farms. These funds also supported the translation of island energy curriculum into the Hawaiian language for use in immersion science classrooms.
- Created about 180 construction jobs and seven full-time positions
- Supports Hawaii’s goal of increasing its use of renewable energy
- Provides a new source of clean, locally produced power
- Includes up to 4.4 MWh storage capacity (11 MW power capacity) to support stability of the power grid
- Provides economic benefits to the community, including new sources of revenue to local land owners and government entities, plus local providers of goods and services
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by about 60,500 tons annually, the equivalent of taking approximately 12,500 cars off the road
Sempra Renewables dedicates Auwahi Wind in Maui, Hawaii.
Sempra Renewables is joined by Hawaii Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, business leaders and members of the community to celebrate the start of construction on the Auwahi Wind farm in Maui, Hawaii.