By Hugh Clark
Advertiser Big Island Bureau
HILO, Hawaii Hawaii Electric Light Co. officials yesterday announced an agreement to buy power from an $8 million wind farm to be developed near Upolu Point in windy North Kohala.
With wind, geothermal and small hydro units, Hawaii Electric already is obtaining 28 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, and the new agreement will strengthen the utilitys independence from oil-fired power, said Warren Lee, Hawaii Electric president.
"With the costs to develop wind power coming down, we were able to agree on a price and terms that are fair to our Big Island customers," said Lee.
The wind farm, to be built by Site Constructors Inc., of California in Hawi, will generate up to 3 megawatts of power at peak production. The firm has built more than100 wind and hydroelectric plants nationwide.
The plants construction date was not revealed. The state Public Utilities Commission must approve the 15-year agreement.
The facility will be the fourth wind-power operation on the Big Island. Hawaii Electric last year announced an agreement to buy 10 megawatts of power from Kahua Power on the Kahua Ranch, also in north Kohala. It also can buy up to 7 megawatts from Apollo Energy near South Point in Kau and owns and operates the Lalamilo wind farm in Waimea, which can generation up to 2.3 megawatts.
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