Firefighters attacked the blaze by using a dry chemical agent, but only after Hawaiian Electric Co., delivered 1,000 pounds of the retardant. The firefighting efforts were put on hold when the chemical agent ran out.
Fonoimoana questions why First Wind did not have a supply of the fire retardant on site. He said company officials were considering the installation of a fire suppression system within the warehouse after two similar fires last year.
"I don't want to name names, (but) First Wind representatives said that they will install those measures," said Fonoimoana.
Both the Kahuku Community Association and the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board voted to support the First Wind project before construction began. The wind farm began operations in March of 2011.
As of Aug. 1 at around 6:30 p.m., Honolulu fire officials contained the fire in the battery energy-storage building, according to First Wind.
"We commend the quick response and all of the efforts of the fire and safety officials that responded to the scene. There were no injuries," said Kekoa Kaluhiwa, spokesman for First Wind. "The project continues to be offline and we have restricted access to the site due to continued safety concerns. No other structures or wind turbines were damaged."
Kaluhiwa said First Wind is determine to find the cause of this incident, take the necessary corrective measures, and get the wind project back in operation.
HECO spokesman Darren Pai said it's not known how long the wind farm will remain offline. He said in the first six months of operation, the wind farm prevented the use of 76,000 barrels of crude oil.
The Kahuku wind farm is capable of powering 7,700 homes on Oahu through the use of 12 2.5 MW turbines. The battery system developed by Xtreme Power Inc. of Kyle, Texas, is needed to evenly distribute power along HECO's transmission lines.