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Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Pine: Gill Family Windfarm Proceeding Against Community Opposition
By Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine @ 5:08 PM :: 5885 Views :: Energy, Environment

Councilmember Pine Statement on Eurus Energy Announcement that Palehua Wind Project Moving Forward Despite Community Opposition

News Release from Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, Nov 28, 2018

HONOLULU – Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine today issued the following statement in response to EE Ewa LLC’s (Eurus Energy) Thanksgiving announcement that it had completed a power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric, and was moving forward to seek Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval of the agreement to sell electricity derived from thirteen 260-foot wind turbines on Agricultural land in Palehua, above Nanakuli and Makakilo, to Hawaiian Electric, despite widespread community opposition from at least two Neighborhood Boards and numerous members of the community:

“Like many in Leeward Oahu, I was shocked to learn through the news that Eurus Energy is moving forward with installing over a dozen wind turbines in the hills of Palehua, a sacred area for the Native Hawaiian community. Among the sacred sites on the Palehua lands is a preserved Pa, or rock-formed enclosure, that was, and is still used as a star-guide to determine the arrival and departure of the Makahiki. The impact these 260-foot turbines would have on this one of many sacred spaces in Palehua, remains unknown.

“With this and many other community concerns, it is disappointing that Eurus Energy and the landowners are rushing forward with this project, especially when Tony Gill, representing the landowner told the Honolulu Advertiser that “We approach this [land] with a tremendous respect for the history and traditions up there,” upon their purchase of the property in 2009. 

“When I first met with a representative of the proposed wind turbine project months ago I expressed my personal opposition, but asked Eurus Energy to ask the community for their permission and mana’o. After a fierce Neighborhood Board meeting in April where the Board and many in the community opposed the project for its perceived insensitivity to the area, many including myself were under the belief that this project would not proceed until those concerns were addressed.

“As the representative of an area with the highest percentage of Native Hawaiians and numerous community members that together respect this sacred area, I will be staunchly opposing this project unless the owners reengage the community and resolve the cultural and environmental questions that continue to go unanswered.”

Councilmember Pine is the Chair of the Committee on Zoning and Housing, which oversees land use policy in the City & County of Honolulu. Wind turbines situated on Agriculture Zoned land are required to obtain a Conditional Use Permit-Major, which requires an Environmental Impact Statement or Environmental Assessment, as well as a public hearing. 

Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine represents residents of District One (ʻEwa, ʻEwa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko ʻOlina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha, Keaau, Makua).

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Big Q: What do you think of the Palehua Wind wind-energy project proposed for West Oahu?

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