The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) has voted unanimously to proceed with a wind energy project proposed by NextEra Energy Resources on homelands in Kahikinui, Maui.
At its annual Maui meeting, the HHC approved an initial three-year right-of-entry permit to Boulevard Associates LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, to survey 500 acres of land on the southern flank of Haleakala for wind power generation.
NextEra Energy Resources will pay the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) $175,000 per year during the three-year permit.
If NextEra Energy Resources decides to proceed with the project, it would enter into a 20-year general lease with the DHHL, with lease rent contingent upon completion of a power purchase agreement (PPA).
NextEra Energy Resources is proposing a 20-turbine, 60 MW wind project on approximately 30 acres of Kahikinui land. The energy would likely be sold to Maui Electric Co. under a PPA, and a community benefits package totaling $300,000 per year would be provided directly to the community of Hawaiian homesteaders residing in Kahikinui over the course of the 20-year lease.
"In the short run, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands receives income, while Boulevard conducts its due diligence. In the long run, if a lease is executed, this project will provide DHHL with much-needed revenue to place more native Hawaiian families onto DHHL lands," says Jobie Masagatani, chair of Hawaiian Homes Commission. "In line with the governor's commitment to achieve 100 percent renewables, this would be the first wind farm project on DHHL lands."