Too big, too close is no exaggeration when describing the Na Pua Makani wind turbines. To address the many concerns of the new wind project, I introduced a package of bills collectively known as POWER - People Overwhelmed by Wind Energy Ramifications.
Everyone living on the North Shore in 2012 will remember the three fires at Kahuku Wind from its battery system; the final, catastrophic fire spewed toxic gases for days and knocked the system off the grid for more than a year.
Kahuku residents are even more concerned today about health and safety risks associated with living so close to the new, massive turbines. They are concerned about tower collapse and blade throw that has occurred at other projects, including Auwahi Wind on Maui. They are concerned about infrasound, low frequency sound, incessant whoosh and grinding noises of the turbines, stray voltage, nighttime flashing lights, and shadow flicker.
The POWER Bill Package includes measures targeting the need for health studies and discounted electricity rates for residents burdened by living near the turbines, reasonable setbacks, and a siting process for renewable energy. The siting process will be critical to help prevent similar crises from happening again.
I also introduced a measure calling on Governor Ige to begin negotiations with Na Pua Makani to terminate this poorly located project. Something this big and this close to residents should never have been approved.
This divisive project threatens the health and well-being of the people of Kahuku and could harm the implementation of future renewable energy projects the State is relying on to meet its clean energy initiative. The Governor is in the best position to help reverse this terrible mistake.
Please come to the upcoming Town Hall meetings to learn more about the POWER package and other legislative ideas introduced by me, Reps Quinlan and Matsumoto, and Councilmember Tsuneyoshi, and to share your manao on pending legislation and community concerns.
Our Talk Story meetings will be held on Wednesday, February 5th, at Kahuku High and Intermediate School, or Tuesday, February 11th, at Waialua Elementary School. If you cannot make either of these meetings, CM Tsuneyoshi, Rep. Lisa Kitagawa and I will be hosting another meeting on Thursday, February 6th, at Kahaluu Elementary School. All meetings are from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.