Status of Na Pua Makani Wind Farm (300 Meters from Kahuku Residents) See also: https://nonapua.com/
Status of County Ordinance Requiring Turbines to be shut down when swells are 8-feet, 14-seconds or higher: On March 15, 2017, Sunset Beach Community Association unanimously agreed to ask for a county law requiring wind turbines situated upwind from the Velzyland to Waimea Bay surf breaks to feather their blades so the blades are oriented parallel to the wind, not catching the wind, shut down, during the day, when the most recent swell reading on the NOAA Waimea buoy (Station 51201) is 8-feet, 14-seconds or higher. These are large barrel conditions with wave faces breaking double-overhead, 12-feet (Hawaiian). These swells occur approximately six percent of year-round hours (day and night). When daylight and wind direction are accounted for, this North Shore wind farm shut-down for surf winds would affect fewer than three percent of the hours of the year. The City and County of Honolulu lawyers are working to draft a bill for the County Commission’s consideration addressing Sunset Beach Community Association’s request. August 18, 2019, we sent a request to Na Pua Makani’s new owners to ask them to commit to the surf shutdown, which would cost them an estimated $100,000/year (about half that in neutral years and 1.5x that in big El Nino years).
Status of Review of Na Pua Makani under State Endangered Species Law: The Board of Land and Natural Resources ignored Contested Case Hearing Officer lawyer’s recommendation to deny Na Pua Makani’s license to operate at night and kill endangered bats so the decision is in State court. That decision will only result in the turbines being required to shut down more hours at night to minimize killing endangered Hawaiian hoary bats. That nighttime shutdown may only last 10 years, because once a bat “mitigation” method is developed, the wind farm would be able to return to get a legal permit to kill the animals.
At the contested case hearings, Keep the North Shore Country’s legal team and plaintiffs Elizabeth J. Rago and Tēvita O. Ka’ili outlined the proposed mitigation’s failure to offset take of even one bat, let alone over 50 the wind farm would kill. Purchase of 500 acres of ag and native forest land, when the home range size for one bat is 3,000 to 9,000 acres, and bat preference for grazed land and low-density developed land versus native forest, leaves no evidence to support a conclusion the mitigation will benefit even one bat. Tēvita O. Ka’ili is a professor of cultural anthropology at BYU and he explained the close cultural connection bats have to the people of Hawaii and Polynesia.
Lisa Kubota’s Hawaii News Now Video http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/36083754/endangered-bat-at-center-of-fight-over-kahuku-wind-farm-proposal highlights the Na Pua Makani wind developer’s assertion the project won’t have adverse effects while in the video background is the wind developer’s rendering of the giant wind turbines looming right next to the elementary school in Kahuku. The developer’s comments that Kahuku residents can sleep at night is interesting too… in light of the fact that the noise level at night in Kahuku Town would, if the wind farm were built in its proposed location (205 meters – two football fields) upwind from the residents) average 44 decibels (the LEQ). Therefore, it seems impossible that during 10% of any 20 minute period it wouldn’t therefore exceed the legal limit of 45 decibels (the L10, the legal limit) (Install “Sound Meter” on your phone – measure the noise level of the illegal vacation rental on your street – parties at the one on our street register 35 decibels at our property and this wakes me up).
The City and County of Honolulu We hope the State Health Department and EPA will step in to ensure the wind farm is required to shut down at night to avoid unlawful loud noise in residential areas or to move to a location where it will meet state nuisance noise law. Link to details: Nighttime Noise Not Legal
Please Help Prevent the Na Pua Makani Wind Farm: Kahuku Community Association, and Keep the North Shore Country joined forces to litigate the BLNR decision. Please donate to Keep the North Shore Country to assist with development of legal documents. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online via Paypal at https://www.keepthenorthshorecountry.org. Personal checks can be mailed to:
Keep the North Shore Country
66-250 Kamehameha Hwy, Suite D103
Haleiwa, HI 96712
Status of Wind Farm Proposed in the Ocean Waters Off Ka’ena Point:
April 12, 2017, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s staff at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management confirmed at-sea wind farm development off Ka’ena Point on the North Shore of O‘ahu was on hold indefinitely. The Agency is reviewing whether or not there is a suitable site for offshore wind development in Oahu waters. Hundreds have signed a Thank You letter to Interior Secretary Zinke and an online petition is open for digital signatures at: https://www.change.org/p/thank-you-trump-department-of-interior-secretary-zinke-no-harmful-unnecessary-north-shore-wind-farms