First Wind's Kahuku back online

Developer First Wind has brought its 30MW Kahuku wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore back to full capacity, the first time since August 2012 when a battery fire shut down operations.

An updated interconnection requirements study was conducted and determined that a new technology could replace the need for a battery system at the site.

The new Dynamic Volt-Amp Reactive (DVAR) system is a cost-effective way to provide continuous voltage regulation. The recently installed technology also improves voltage stability on utility Hawaiian Electric Company’s (HECO) grid, as well as meets interconnection requirements, according to First Wind.

The Kahuku Wind project’s 12 wind turbines have been fully maintained since the shutdown in 2012 and testing of turbines and new DVAR technology began last September. The project returned to service, but in a limited capacity of 5 MW. Late last month, HECO gave the go ahead for the project to return to full service.

At full capacity, the wind project produces enough power for up to 7,700 homes on O‘ahu.

Xtreme Power, which supplied the battery storage system, in January filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company is based near Austin, Texas.