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First Wind brings Hawaii's largest project into operation

First Wind has begun commercial operation of its 69MW Kawailoa Wind project on the island of Oahu’s North Shore, the largest wind farm in the US state of Hawaii.

At full output, Kawailoa has the potential to meet as much as 10% of Oahu’s annual electrical demand, which would save 300,000 barrels of fuel oil each year.

The project, which uses 30 Siemens wind turbines, will provide electricity to the equivalent of 14,500 homes on the island. Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) will purchase all power under a long-term agreement.

Kawailoa is First Wind’s second project on Oahu and fourth in the Hawaiian islands.

“Hawaii has shown true leadership in its aggressive clean energy goals and First Wind has strived to support this vision by developing new sources of cost-competitive renewable energy,” says First Wind chief executive Paul Gaynor.

Hawaii’s renewable portfolio standard mandates 70% clean energy for electricity and surface transportation by 2030, with 40% of that amount coming from local renewable sources.

“Wind power is an important clean energy resource for Hawaii and one of the keys to breaking our dependence on imported oil,” says HECO chief executive Dick Rosenblum.