First Wind and Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the commencement of commercial operations of the Kahuku wind project. Construction of the project was assisted by a $117 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The 30 MW project features 2.5 MW Clipper Liberty wind turbines and a battery energy-storage system developed by Xtreme Power. The dynamic power resource is a utility-scale battery system that assists in meeting stringent performance standards and smoothing fluctuations in wind energy output. A dedicated communication system was also built to connect the project to HECO's system operations and dispatch center.
As part of a long-term power purchase agreement between Kahuku Wind and HECO, First Wind will sell as-available renewable energy from the project to the utility at contracted prices.
RMT, which also handled construction for First Wind's Utah-based Milford Wind project and is currently building the company's expansion of the Kaheawa wind project in Maui, Hawaii, and the Sheffield Wind project in Vermont, led the construction activities for Kahuku Wind.
The Kahuku project also features a Habitat Conservation Plan approved for a wind energy project under Hawaii's Endangered Species Act, which protects endangered species that may be found on or near the project site.
SOURCE: First Wind