We are North Shore surfers who believe Hawai‘i’s clean energy needs can be met with energy sources that are in harmony with our environment.
The wind farms under consideration at the Department of Interior would cause unnecessary harm to our North Shore surf conditions. Please don’t install giant floating structures that would diffract our open ocean swells or windmills in locations where they would disrupt and slow our offshore winds. Please don’t build giant windmills east of the North Shore’s epic surf spots that rely on east winds for their clean wave faces and excellent surfing conditions.
Surf is just one of many many adverse effects the proposed North Shore wind farms would have – cultural rights and practices, wildlife and fish survival and breeding, human health, property values, tourism, and the beauty of scenery would also be harmed by the proposed wind farms. There is more than enough suitable land on O‘ahu’s North Shore grazing land to produce more energy than the proposed wind farms without damaging the environment. We believe solar PV should be the Department of Interior’s preferred alternative to proposed wind developments.
We started discussing wind farm effects to surf as a community on July 21, 2016, when the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) proposed leasing the ocean area off Ka‘ena Point for floating wind farm development (refer to malamanaluohana.com and their September 2016 public scoping letter to BOEM). Prior to that, surfers joked lightheartedly with well-liked First Wind employees about the Kahuku windmills ruining their surf winds. When BOEM informed the North Shore Neighborhood Board via email in the fall of 2016 that they were re-assessing what ocean areas near Oahu might be suitable for wind farm development, we mapped areas we were concerned wind development could impact North Shore surf and drafted a letter to the Department of Interior (our November post, which we provided, with original signatures, to the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a December 19, 2016, public comment related to the proposed Na Pua Makani Wind Farm). Our February post reflects a look at weather station data that shows the recent loss of SE and East winds at the Sunset Point surf spots is not due to climate change. We’re partnering with other North Shore stakeholders to develop a nomination for a new National Marine Sanctuary in the ocean waters off Ka’ena Point to prevent any future offshore wind development that would block our west swells. We also supporting Keep The North Shore Country’s efforts to assure the proposed giant Na Pua Makani windmills are not constructed downwind from Pipeline and we are drafting a County Ordinance that would require the Kahuku wind farm to feather their blades when the swells is good. We will keep you posted.
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