Harnessing Wind, Waves And Sun: Hawaii's Energy Future

A 21-megawatt wind farm currently in construction on the Big Island's South Point will go operational as early as March 2007, according to Hawaii Electric Light Co. and partner General Electric. The Pakini Nui Wind Project will supply power for up to 10,000 households through the use of 14 turbines.

State lawmakers, representatives from the Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona announced that they hope to have at least 20% of the State's energy come from wind, wave and solar sources by the year 2020.

While there are currently only 5,000 of the same turbines used throughout the world, a GE Energy executive stated that South Point has some of the most ideal wind conditions on the entire globe.

The island of Maui put in to operation it's first wind farm earlier this summer, using 20 turbines supplied and built by GE. A Shell Oil Co. subsidiary (Shell WindEnergy) announced they hope to install a $200 million farm on the remote, southwest face of Haleakala, on the Ulupalakua Ranch. The Auwahi wind project is expected to supply 40 megawatts of power--enough to sustain over 15,000 homes. If the project is completed as expected, Auwahi will supply 20% of Maui's power by 2008.