Plans for more wind turbines in Kahuku are met with oppositionUPDATED 10:21 PM HST Feb 13, 2014Video Transcript
A project that could save Oahu millions of dollars in energy costs faces criticism from a North Shore community. KITV4's Brenton Awa has the story all new at 10. 16 102 While these wind turbines are back up and running -- 8 more are waiting in the pipeline... A new plan that could power another 8-thousand Oahu homes is set to roll out in Kahuku... But residents in the community say they've had enough. 2533 "THE KAHUKU COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION TOLD THEM FLAT OUT, WE DON'T WANT ANYMORE TURBINES IN OUR COMMUNITY AND YET THEY'RE STILL COMING." The concern is that the Na Pua Makani Wind Project will take more from this community than it gives back. 2706 "THE ARGUMENT THAT THE COMMUNITY HAS IS NOT ON THE MERITS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY NOR IS IT ON THE MERITS OF WIND ENERGY, ITS ABOUT BEING RESPONSIBLE AND RESPECTFUL TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE PUT THEIR WHOLE LIFE SAVINGS INTO THEIR PROPERTY." Property owners say studies have shown a loss in home value when turbines are placed nearby -- partially because of residents losing the ability to connect their photovoltaic systems to the grid... The developer says that's not the case. 1335 "THAT'S REALLY BECAUSE THE WIND PROJECTS CONNECT TO THE HIGH VOLTAGE LINES AND THE ROOFTOP SOLAR ARE TO THE LOW VOLTAGE RESIDENTIAL FEEDER LINES." As for those concerned with hearing the turbines... 1150 "THE NOISE LEVELS AT THE RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY IS BASICALLY A QUIET WHISPER LEVEL." Still -- Some fear this is just the beginning... 2652 "THERE'S NO DEALING WITH IT ONCE THEY'RE THERE, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT, THEY'RE GOING TO BE THERE." The developer -- Champlin Hawaii Wind Holdings says the 8 planned turbines could be installed as soon as the middle of next year. There's also an option for phase two of the project that could add up to seven more wind turbines in Kahuku.. However that would require the Hawaiian Electric Company to first upgrade the areas utility grid.