Status of Na Pua Makani Wind Farm (205 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.

Status of Review of Na Pua Makani under State Endangered Species Law:  The DLNR contested case hearings addressing the endangered bat aspects of the proposed Na Pua Makani Wind Farm were held August 7 and 8.  September 8, both sides will submit documents.  The hearing officer’s decision would probably be in November or December.  The DLNR Board of Land and Natural Resources will take her decision under advisement and likely either A.) issue the developer an incidental take license to kill the endangered bats; B.) send the wind farm’s application to kill bats back to the State’s Endangered Species Recovery Committee so the biologists can help the applicant modify the project to meet the endangered species law. The law requires that to get a license to kill the endangered bats, the project’s mitigation must offset the wind farm bat mortality so, overall, it is a net benefit for the bat. Essentially, the Oahu bat population has to be better off as a result of the project, including the bat kill and the benefits of bat mitigation, in order to get the license to kill endangered bats.

At the contested case hearings, Keep the North Shore Country’s legal team and plaintiffs Elizabeth J. Rago and Tēvita O. Ka’ili successfully demonstrated the applicant’s requested bat take is too low because, among many other reasons that were articulated, the wind developer calculated anticipated bat mortality using the rate of take at the Kahuku Wind Farm turbines, which have a rotor danger zone that’s 1/2 the size of the rotor swept area of the proposed giant wind turbines. The team also provided evidence the proposed mitigation may, in itself, result in a reduction in our Oahu bats, and that there is no evidence to support a conclusion the mitigation will benefit a 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.

20170807_133415Lisa 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 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 US Fish and Wildlife Service has not made a decision on the applicant’s request for an incidental take permit for the endangered bat, nor have they finalized any decision regarding the EIS (the SFEIS).  We hope the wind farm will be required to avoid any bat take they can not offset.

The City and County of Honolulu has not issued a permit for wind turbine construction and 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.

Please Help Prevent the Na Pua Makani Wind Farm:  Kahuku Community Association, an anonymous Native Hawaiian benefactor, and Keep the North Shore Country joined forces for the DLNR contested case.  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/donate.  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

On an indefinite hold